Ships from Japan, South Korea, and the US, have docked at Garden Island Naval Base in Sydney, Australia, for a contactless, COVID-safe port visit, ahead of the Pacific Vanguard quadrilateral exercise.

Accompanied by HMAS Brisbane, Japanese ship Makinami, Republic of Korea ship Wang Geon, and US navy destroyer USS Rafael Peralta entered Sydney Heads.

Personnel from the three foreign ships will be able to have access to a controlled quarantine area but will have not have an interaction with Australian personnel.

Deputy Commander of Australian Fleet Commodore Jonathan Earley said: “We are pleased to welcome our friends from partner nations for a contactless, Covid-safe visit to Sydney.

“However, the need to abide by NSW restrictions means the crews will only experience Sydney from their ships.”

Personnel from these ships will be able to step ashore only for resupply of their vessels from the quarantine zone on the wharf or for essential medical requirements, in line with the guidelines laid out by the New South Wales (NSW) government.

Commodore Jonathan Earley added: “It is important that we continue to take advantage of multinational training opportunities during the pandemic, so we can work together as a combined force to protect our region in an increasingly complex strategic environment.”

Exercise Pacific Vanguard, which takes place in Australian waters this week, will boost the interoperability of the navies and hone their warfighting skills.

Following the conclusion of the exercise, the three foreign ships will return to Garden Island from 10 to 13 July for another contactless, Covid-safe port visit.