The Australian, New Zealand and Canadian navies have collaborated on a number of anti-submarine warfare exercises conducted off the east coast of New Zealand.
The operation was codenamed Nga Tahi, and aimed to boost ties and refine common operating procedures among the three participating nations.
Royal Australian Navy submarine HMAS Dechaineux carried out exercises with the Royal New Zealand Navy's Anzac frigates, HMNZ ships Te Kaha and Te Mana, and the Royal Canadian Navy's Halifax-class frigate HMCS Vancouver.
The Royal New Zealand Air Force aircraft P-3K2 Orion was also utilised as part of the programme.
According to Dechaineux Sonar officer lieutenant Nathan Whitelaw the Nga Tahi exercise was carried out over three days, and enabled sailors to improve their skills and efficiencies during high-end warfare scenarios.
Whitelaw said: “The maritime environment off the coast of New Zealand provided an opportunity for our acoustic warfare analysts to draw upon their skills and knowledge.
“As we had not recently operated with the New Zealand and Canadian units, the exercise was beneficial.”
Royal New Zealand Air Force air warfare specialist and No. 5 Squadron flight sergeant Nick Rowe added that the Nga Tahi exercise has also been advantageous for the New Zealand Defence Force, which does not possess a submarine.
Rowe said: “We don’t often get a chance to work with submarines, so to have Dechaineux was invaluable.
“Our operators got to see first-hand how hard it is to track submarines and to practice common operating procedures.
"We also had a chance to conduct reciprocal visits to other nations’ assets, which is great to build relationships and share what we learned.”
Image: HMCS Vancouver through the periscope of HMAS Dechaineux during NGA TAHI exercise. Photo: courtesy of Royal Australian Navy.