HMAS Melbourne last week completed a visit to the Chinese port of Zhanjiang and conducted a combined passage exercise with the PLA-N Ship Xianning.
CAPTION: People’s Liberation Army – Navy ship Xianning and HMAS Melbourne (background) during a passage exercise. ADF photo.
Part of Navy’s north-east Asian deployment for 2018, the short passage exercise conducted after sailing from port included routine safety-of-life-at-sea drills, helicopter search and rescue operations, as well as navigation and ship handling exercises.
Australian and Chinese personnel planned the activity together with the two ships berthed next to each other in Zhanjiang Naval Base.
While berthed in Zhanjiang HMAS Melbourne’s crew also participated in a range of cultural, sporting and social activities as well as senior leadership engagement.
The exercises culminated with a ceremonial ‘cheer ship’, with the ship’s companies of both Melbourne and Xianning on the upper decks to farewell each other in traditional naval fashion before parting ways at sea.
HMA Ships Melbourne, Stuart and Sirius are conducting a north-east Asia deployment, involving a number of ports across the region in support of international engagement.
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