International exercise a ‘learning experience’

HMAS Parramatta has completed Exercise ARC21 off the coast of Japan, which included blue-water combat, amphibious and aviation training serials with partner navies.

CAPTION: Midshipman Thomas Armstrong checks HMAS Parramatta’s distance from Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force vessel JS Ise with laser range-finding binoculars during Exercise ARC21. Story and photo by Leading Seaman Jarrod Mulvihill.

The Japanese-led exercise involved maritime, land and air assets from Japan, France and the United States and comprised a number of anti-submarine warfare and air-defence serials, communication exercises and close in-company maneuvering between eight warships.

Commanding Officer Parramatta Commander Anita Nemarich said Exercise ARC21 built interoperability between key partners and tested the capabilities of her ship and crew.

“Our sailors are highly trained and working together with our partner navies builds trust in our shared tactics and common practices,” Commander Nemarich said.

“I’d like to thank our friends in the Japan Self-Defense Forces for hosting ARC21 and sharing an opportunity to train with like-minded partners.”

CAPTION: HMAS Parramatta crew members conduct a light line transfer with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force vessel JS Ise during Exercise ARC21. Photo by Leading Seaman Jarrod Mulvihill.

Able Seaman Benjamin Stewart, from Caboolture, Queensland, said Exercise ARC21 was a great exercise where he learnt a lot.

“It was exciting to be able to bring together everything I’ve learnt in my training as a combat systems operator and apply that to a large-scale international exercise,” Able Seaman Stewart said.

Parramatta is currently on a two-month deployment to South-East and north-east Asia operating as a task group with HMAS Ballarat.

The two Anzac-class frigates are conducting a number of navy-to-navy engagements with partner nations across the region.

CAPTION: Able Seaman Benjamin Stewart participates in an anti-submarine warfare exercise with a Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force submarine during Exercise ARC21. Photo by Leading Seaman Jarrod Mulvihill.

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