Three foreign warships have berthed at Garden Island, Sydney, for a contactless, COVIDSafe port visit, ahead of regional quadrilateral exercise, Pacific Vanguard.
CAPTION: United States Navy destroyer USS Rafael Peralta enters Sydney Harbour for a COVID-Safe port visit ahead of Exercise Pacific Vanguard. Photo by Able Seaman Dafonte Fernandez.
The ships from Japan, South Korea and the United States entered Sydney Heads accompanied by HMAS Brisbane.
Personnel in Japanese Ship Makinami, Republic of Korea Ship Wang Geon and USS Rafael Peralta will be able to access a controlled quarantine area beside their ships, but will have no interaction with Australian personnel.
Deputy Commander Australian Fleet Commodore Jonathan Earley said COVID safety was at the forefront of everyone’s mind.
“We are pleased to welcome our friends from partner nations for a contactless, COVIDSafe visit to Sydney,” Commodore Earley said.
“However, the need to abide by NSW restrictions means the crews will only experience Sydney from their ships.
“Personnel will only step ashore to resupply their ships from the controlled quarantine zone on the wharf or for essential medical reasons, in accordance with NSW Government guidelines.
“While foreign personnel will not have shore leave, our navies will interact at sea during Exercise Pacific Vanguard, which takes place off Australia’s east coast this week.
“It is important that we continue to take advantage of multinational training opportunities during the pandemic, so we can work together as a combined force to protect our region in an increasingly complex strategic environment.”
Exercise Pacific Vanguard will enhance interoperability of high-end warfighting alongside like-minded partners in the region.
The three foreign ships will return to Garden Island from July 10-13 for another contactless, COVIDSafe visit after the exercise concludes.