HMAS Ballarat has been refuelled during a rendezvous with two United States Navy ships during its Regional Presence Deployment.
CAPTION: HMAS Ballarat’s Ship’s Company heave in a messenger line during a replenishment at sea with USNS Big Horn. Story by Lieutenant Gary McHugh. Photo by Leading Seaman Ernesto Sanchez.
Ballarat met up with guided missile destroyer USS Curtis D. Wilbur and replenishment oiler USNS Big Horn after the Anzac-class frigate’s transit of the Luzon Strait.
Commanding Officer Ballarat, Commander Antony Pisani, said the ships’ time in-company displayed the strength of the Australia–United States alliance.
“This activity builds on the strong and enduring mateship that exists between the Australian and United States navies,” Commander Pisani said.
“It also shows that our two countries are committed to a secure and stable maritime environment, and promotes the importance of navy-to-navy relationships across the region.”
The ships carried out a number of maritime evolutions and navy-to-navy training designed to enhance interoperability between the two navies.
Officer of the Watch, Lieutenant Glenn Hanson, said working with the United States ships provided a valuable training experience for Ballarat’s bridge team.
“One of the most important elements of conducting maritime manoeuvres and Replenishments at Sea is clear and concise communications between participants,” Lieutenant Hanson said.
“The fact that all evolutions carried out today were undertaken effectively is proof of the mutual professionalism of the ships involved.”
Commander Pisani said conducting activities such as this were key to enhancing Australia’s maritime relationships across the region.
“Carrying out these activities with our close partners demonstrates our collective resolve to support an open, inclusive and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Commander Pisani said.
Ballarat is currently conducting a three-month Regional Presence Deployment throughout South-East Asia and north Asia.