Jun 1, 2012 ASDNews Source : MoD Australia
The ANZAC-class Guided Missile Frigate, HMAS Ballarat, arrived in Japan yesterday on the final stage of its North East Asian deployment after completing a successful series of exercises with the maritime forces of both China and Korea.
After a short port visit to the city of Kure, HMAS Ballarat will participate in the Australian–Japanese bilateral Exercise Nichi Gou Trident 2012 from 4–6 June 2012.
Ballarat will be joined by a Royal Australian Air Force AP3-C Orion maritime patrol aircraft and the Japanese Guided Missile Destroyer, JS Shimakaze from the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF). A JMSDF submarine will also participate in this year’s exercise for the first time, demonstrating the strong commitment of both countries towards improving maritime security in the region.
The combined maritime exercise will take place in waters southeast of Japan’s Kyushu Island. The exercise aims to further develop interoperability in all facets of naval operations common to both navies, with particular focus on complex Under Sea Warfare, Maritime Interdiction Operations and other core mariner skills activities.
On completion of the bilateral exercise, the Australian and Japanese forces will then be joined by the United States Navy (USN) for the trilateral exercise, Pacific Bond 2012 where the USN will contribute aircraft, ships and a submarine. This exercise will again focus on Under Sea Warfare and seek to further improve interoperability between all the three navies within the region.
Ballarat’s Commanding Officer, Commander Jonathan Earley said, “these series of exercises reaffirm our deep commitment towards regional engagement and interest in maritime security.
“They also represent excellent opportunities for the Royal Australian Navy to further hone our high-end warfare skills with Navies who share maritime interests similar to ours”.
HMAS Ballarat is now close to the end of a four month deployment through South and North East Asia. HMAS Ballarat returns to Sydney in June.