The crew of HMAS Ballarat has successfully conducted training with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ship Murasame during the Regional Presence Deployment.
CAPTION: HMAS Ballarat’s ship’s company wave farewell as Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Ship Murasame passes by after completing training together. Story by Lieutenant Gary McHugh. Photo by Leading Seaman Ernesto Sanchez.
The ships, which rendezvoused off the coast of Japan, remained in company for a day and conducted various maritime manoeuvres.
Ballarat’s Commanding Officer, Commander Antony Pisani said the training with Japan improved interoperability and enhanced cohesiveness.
“Activities like this one are extremely important in building mutual trust and respect among partner nation navies,” Commander Pisani said.
“They allow us to develop common goals and have a better understanding of how we conduct business in the maritime environment.”
During the training, Ballarat and Murasame conducted a series of maritime evolutions, collectively referred to as “Officer of the Watch” manoeuvres, and Ballarat’s MH-60R helicopter conducted a deck landing on Murasame as part of the activity.
Commander Pisani said the successful training demonstrated that Australia can continue operating effectively in the region despite the challenges of the global pandemic.
“Ballarat has had an extremely successful deployment since leaving our homeport of Fleet Base West in Perth almost two months ago,” Commander Pisani said.
“Together with our partner nations, we have proved that significant deployments such as this can be carried out safely in a persistent COVID-19 environment by conducting contactless engagements.”
Because of the global pandemic, Ballarat is only conducting essential logistics visits while deployed, and all resupply evolutions are being carried out in accordance with strict COVID-19 mitigation methods.