Top End maritime war games a first
HMAS Warramunga and Indian Navy warships INS Shivalik and INS Kadmatt conducted high-end maritime warfare training off the coast of the Northern Territory during AUSINDEX 21.
CAPTION: HMAS Warramunga’s Commanding Officer, Commander Stewart Muller, and the Ship’s Company wave farewell, as Indian Navy Ships Shivalik and Kadmaat sail past at the conclusion of AUSINDEX 2021. Story by Lieutenant Geoff Long. Photo by Petty Officer Yuri Ramsey.
This was the fourth iteration of the biennial maritime series between Australia and India and the first to be held in the Top End. India hosted AUSINDEX in 2019.
RAN officer of the watch Sub Lieutenant Declan Smith said the bilateral exercise provided an opportunity to hone interoperability with their counterparts in the Indian Navy.
“This exercise is the culmination of a busy work-up period for Warramunga and her crew. It presents the ideal stage for the ship to showcase its ability to integrate in a collaborative setting with Shivalik and Kadmaat,” Sub Lieutenant Smith said.
The maritime exercises included communication, maritime manoeuvres, and combined warfare serials aimed at providing both navies with a deeper understanding of how to best work together.
Able Seaman Communications and Information Systems Jamie Green, of Warramunga, said it was always exciting working with other countries.
“Having the opportunity to work in conjunction with our Indian counterparts has given the Warramunga communications’ team an excellent insight into the way in which our allied partners operate at sea,” Able Seaman Green said.
AUSINDEX 21 included a contactless, COVID-safe harbour phase in Darwin, followed by a sea phase in the North Australian Exercise Area.
Royal Australian Air Force P-8A maritime patrol aircraft and F/A-18 Hornets were also involved, along with the ships’ embarked helicopters.
First held in 2015, AUSINDEX has increased in complexity with each iteration.
The successful 2019 event in India saw the first anti-submarine warfare exercises and the first coordinated P-8 maritime patrol aircraft missions take place over the Bay of Bengal.