Amphibious Ready

The Amphibious Ready Element onboard the Australian Royal Navy’s HMAS Canberra has participated in Exercise Sea Explorer in Far North Queensland.

The new military capability of the country performed the second of the Sea Series of exercises under command of the Amphibious Task Group Headquarters.

Exercise Sea Explorer focuses on training and assessing the Amphibious Ready Element in a permissive environment scenario.

In addition to the navy warship, the exercise involves Air Force assets, Army’s 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment and other army units.

Amphibious Task Force commander captain Jay Bannister said that the focus had been projecting land forces across Cowley Beach in Far North Queensland.

Bannister said: "The effort so far has been the safe and efficient transfer of our troops and vehicles to the beach, where they can train for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief events."

As part of the exercise, HMAS Canberra accommodates four army MRH-90 helicopters and a Navy Maritime Support Helicopter.

In addition, the vessel is equipped with 60 vehicles, including bulldozers, light armoured vehicles, protected mobility vehicles, four landing craft and smaller amphibious boats.

"The effort so far has been the safe and efficient transfer of our troops and vehicles to the beach."

According to Land Force commander lieutenant colonel Michael Bassingthwaighte, the troops had been working on completing the ship to shore transfer by day and night since completing induction training.

Bassingthwaighte said: "The aim is to achieve a capability that will enhance the defence of Australia and support our strategic interests in the region and to operate as an amphibious joint task force."

As part of the exercise, the Amphibious Ready Element has successfully completed the series of exercises, including both collective training and certification events.

The Sea Series of exercises is scheduled to be concluded in early October.

Image: Amphibious Ready Element performed the second of the Sea Series of exercises. Photo: courtesy of Commonwealth of Australia 2015.