Japanese naval visitors depart Darwin

Two Japan Maritime Self Defence Force ships that pulled into Darwin this week for a goodwill visit and to replenish supplies after recent exercises in our region, have now departed.

CAPTION: JS Murasame departs Darwin after a brief visit. Photo by Barrie Collins.

And CONTACT’s man in the north Barrie Collins was on hand again to grab a few photos.

Barrie said, “There hasn’t been a word in the media about the visit – very quiet and very strange!”

So, I guess this opportunity was an exclusive.

JS Kaga arrives in Darwin for a port visit. Photo by Barrie Collins.
JS Kaga arrives in Darwin for a port visit. Photo by Barrie Collins.

Even Defence’s report on the ships’ interactions with Royal Australian Navy vessels near Darwin [published on 21 September] didn’t mention the port call…

HMA Ships Maitland and Maryborough farewelled Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) helicopter carrier JS Kaga and destroyer JS Murasame with a formation sail in the waters just off Darwin this last week.

Kaga and Murasame are deployed together to train and exercise with partners in the region.

After taking part in Exercises Talisman Sabre, Pacific Vanguard, ARC-21 and La Perouse, they joined the two RAN Armidale-class patrol boats during Exercise Malabar.

Sailing in column and exercising with the JMSDF was a unique opportunity to strengthen interoperability and reaffirm the longstanding friendship between the RAN and the JMSDF.

After detaching Maryborough at outer harbour limits on September 18, Maitland and her crew engaged in a series of officer-of-the-watch manoeuvres with Kaga, demonstrating professional ship handling and close-in manoeuvring between the 57-metre-long patrol boat and the 248-metre-long helicopter carrier.

Maitland and Kaga also conducted an exchange of gifts via seaboat transfer.

They concluded the manoeuvres with a ceremonial pass, where the ships’ companies fell in on the upper decks to wave farewell.

Commanding Officer Maitland Lieutenant Commander Julia Griffin thanked Kaga in Japanese for the opportunity and wished her ship’s company fair winds and following seas.

Shortly after, Maitland rendezvoused with Murasame and conducted a ceremonial pass, with both vessels exchanging waves and final farewells.

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Posted by Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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