Australian and Indonesian navy vessels

Australia and Indonesia have successfully concluded a biennial naval exercise, codenamed Exercise Cassowary 2013, off the coast of Darwin, Australia, intended to strengthen maritime relations.

During the biennial maritime security training exercise, which concluded on 31 August 2013, Indonesian Eastern Fleet and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) ships and sailors focused on conducting boarding operations to counter the threat of illegal fishing.

The exercise involved a two-day harbour phase, followed by a three-day sea phase in the north Australian exercise area.

In addition to strengthening relationships and enhancing mutual cooperation, the drill has been designed to boost understanding between the Indonesian Navy, known as Tentara Nasional Indonesia Angkatan Laut (TNI-AL), and the Royal Australian Navy.

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The exercise involved Indonesian Navy’s Todak-class fast patrol boats KRI Hiu and Kakap-class vessels KRI Kakap, as well as Austal Ships-built Armidale-class patrol boat, HMAS Wollongong (ACPB 92), and the ADI-developed Huon-class minehunter coastal boat HMAS Huon (82) from RAN.

"Sailors focused on conducting boarding operations to counter the threat of illegal fishing."

As part of harbour phase, personnel from both navies participated in professional forums, workshops, demonstrations and exercise briefings.

The Cassowary exercise also featured a number of activities including communications drills, passage exercises, light transfers at sea, boarding preparations and ship’s safety drills during the sea phase.

Australian maritime operations director, captain Steve Bowater, said: "This exercise is an exciting opportunity to learn from each other, gain personal satisfaction and make a real impact on improving regional maritime security through the experiences you share."

Earlier this year, the allied nations also conducted humanitarian assistance and disaster relief tabletop exercise, dubbed as HADREX13, at Robertson Barracks in Darwin, to boost defence-to-defence and military-to-military cooperation.

Image: Australian and Indonesian navy vessels participating in exercise Cassowary 2013. Photo: copyright of the Royal Australian Navy.

Defence Technology