Two Royal Australian Navy (RAN) vessels have conducted a number of exercises with the French Navy and Spanish Armada's warships, which were carried out in waters to the north of Darwin.
The ships included HMAS Success, HMAS Parramatta, the French Mistral and Courbet, and Spain’s Cristobal Colon.
The vessels carried out replenishment at sea (RAS) approaches, which is an essential skill for all warships requiring fuel, provisions or personnel during operations.
HMAS Success commanding officer commander Grant Zilko said that the exercises improved interoperability among the three navies: “Interacting with other navies in this manner strengthens ties between nations and allows us to understand different defence capabilities.”
The French Navy’s Mistral and Courbet were deployed in the north of Australia as part of their Mission Jeanne d’Arc 2017, which is a five-month training programme for 137 junior officers.
The Spanish ship Cristobal Colon is providing platform and familiarisation training to Australian personnel who are to embark on the Australian Navy’s future Aegis-guided missile destroyer, NUSHIP Hobart as part of the engagement.
HMAS Success Watch officer lieutenant Hannah Phelps said that these international exercises enabled the navies to learn from each other and enhance their warfighting skills.
Phelps said: “This was a great opportunity for us to all work together and to hone our mariner skills.”
HMAS Success is currently preparing for Exercise Talisman Sabre 2017 combined Australian and US training activity that takes place every two years.
Image: FNS Mistral (left) and ESPS Cristobal Colon exercised with HMA ships Success and Parramatta in waters to the north of Australia. Photo: courtesy of Royal Australian Navy.