Indo-Pacific nations begin maritime exercise Pacific Vanguard

21 November 2019 (Last Updated November 21st, 2019 13:29)

More than 1,500 sailors from four Indo-Pacific countries have started the second iteration of exercise Pacific Vanguard off the coast of Guam.

Indo-Pacific nations begin maritime exercise Pacific Vanguard
File photo of USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) that represents the US Navy at the Exercise Pacific Vanguard. Credit: US Navy.

More than 1,500 sailors from four Indo-Pacific countries have started the second iteration of exercise Pacific Vanguard off the coast of Guam.

The cooperative multinational maritime training exercise involves forces from the US, Canada, Republic of Korea, and Australia.

Pacific Vanguard allows participating maritime forces to train together and increase cooperation at sea.

The first iteration of exercise Pacific Vanguard was held in May in Guam and around the Marianas Island Range Complex.

The inaugural exercise involved 3,000 personnel from Australia, Japan, South Korea, and the US.

US 7th Fleet commander vice-admiral Bill Merz said: “Building on the success of the previous exercise, Pacific Vanguard continues to serve as an opportunity for like-minded maritime nations to come together based on their shared values and common interests.

“Our forces will use the next few days to exercise and improve our multilateral ability to adapt to ever-changing regional challenges.”

The exercise will allow forces to refine their skills in defensive counter-air operations, anti-submarine warfare, combined manoeuvres, live-fire exercises, and replenishment at sea.

The US Navy deployed Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62), dry cargo ship USNS Carl Brashear (T-AKE 7), a submarine, and fleet replenishment oiler USNS Pecos (T-AO 197).

The country will also send aircraft from the ‘Red Lancers’ of Patrol Squadron 10 and the ‘Yellow Jackets’ of Electronic Attack Squadron 138.

Australia is represented by Hobart-class destroyer HMAS Hobart (DDG 39), frigates HMAS Stuart (FFH 53) and HMAS Parramatta (FFH 54), as well as a submarine.

Other assets taking part in this iteration include the Royal Canadian Navy’s frigate HMCS Ottawa (FF 341) and Korea’s destroyer ROKS Choi Young (DDH 981).