Australian ships join US-led exercise

HMA Ships Canberra and Ballarat have arrived in the Western Pacific Ocean for the opening phase of the US-led Large Scale Global Exercise 21.

CAPTION: HMAS Canberra, front, conducts manoeuvres with USS New Orleans, left, JS Makinami and USS America during the Large Scale Global Exercise in the Western Pacific. Photo by Leading Seaman Ernesto Sanchez.

Chief of Joint Operations Lieutenant General Greg Bilton said Australia’s participation in the first phase of the activity followed the success of Exercises Talisman Sabre and Pacific Vanguard.

“We have just completed some extraordinary training in and around Australia and now we have this exciting new opportunity to consolidate those gains,” Lieutenant General Bilton said.

“We’ve got amphibious forces, including United States marines, embarked in Canberra, and a Royal Australian Air Force P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft involved at various stages as well.

“Activities like this build strong operational relationships, which are the foundation for responding to shared security challenges.”

Commanding Officer Canberra Captain Jace Hutchison said the exercise would prove invaluable for the crews of Canberra and Ballarat.

“Any opportunity for us to test our skills and processes with partner nations enhances our readiness and ability to respond as required,” Captain Hutchison said.

All activities will be conducted in a contactless environment, with strict COVID-19 safety measures in place to ensure the safety of all participants.





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