Multinational exercise tests ship’s upgrade

HMAS Warramunga put her recently upgraded capability to the test during Exercise Malabar 2021.

CAPTION: Warships from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Indian Navy and United States Navy take formation during Exercise MALABAR 2021. Story by Lieutenant Geoff Long. Photo by Petty Officer Yuri Ramsey.

Malabar 2021 was held off the coast of Guam with ships and aircraft from India, Japan and the United States.

This was the second consecutive year that Australia had participated.

This was Warramunga’s first major deployment since her Anzac mid-life capability assurance program upgrade was completed at the Henderson dockyard in Western Australia.

After leaving her home port of Fleet Base West on August 15, Warramunga conducted a range of evolutions designed to evaluate the Anzac-class ship’s capabilities since the upgrade and prepare the crew to exercise with the regional partners.

This included at-sea refuelling with HMAS Sirius and maritime warfare training to better integrate the operations room and the embarked helicopter.

Combat systems manager Chief Petty Officer Mark Skinner said the training set the crew up well to interoperate with other navies during Malabar, which was a valuable opportunity to work closely with key regional partners.

“Exercises such as Malabar 21 allow our crew to exchange proficiency in core mariner skills with like-minded navies and enhance our interoperability,” Chief Petty Officer Skinner said.

The multilateral exercises also provided a training opportunity for Warramunga’s embarked aircrew, according to Flight Commander 816 Squadron Flight 1 Lieutenant Commander Matt Hudson.

“Being embarked in HMAS Warramunga with the MH-60 Romeo helicopter and taking part in a large international exercise like Malabar was a great opportunity for 816 Squadron Flight 1,” Lieutenant Commander Hudson said.

“We were able to enhance our interoperability with our partners from India, Japan and the United States in this high-level maritime training exercise.”






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