Fuelling excitement for first timers on France exercise

HMAS Perth joined five other nations for a French Navy-led exercise in the Bay of Bengal, exercising coordination of ships and aircraft in the maritime domain.

CAPTION: HMAS Perth conducts a replenishment at sea with Indian Navy Ship Jyoti during Exercise La Perouse. All photos by Leading Seaman Sittichai Sakonpoonpol.

Exercise La Perouse saw Australia, France, India, Japan, the UK and the US come together at sea for several days to conduct a number of activities aimed at building interoperability in a combined environment.

Perth kicked off the exercise with a replenishment at sea with Indian Navy Ship Jyoti.

This fuelled the excitement of the crew, many of whom were taking part in an international exercise for the first time and had not been close to another navy’s ship.

More activities followed including a live firing exercise and simulated warfare training.

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CAPTION: Petty Officer Lauren Birch guides French Navy FR Dauphin helicopter landing on the flight deck of HMAS Perth.

The following day was filled with aviation and seamanship evolutions, as the ships sailed in formation performing helicopter landings and officer-of-the-watch manoeuvres.

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CAPTION: Seaman Joshua Clark communicates with the bridge during a replenishment at sea.

For Seaman Joshua Clarke it was a new and interesting time on board Perth as his first sea-going role.

“Sailing overseas for Exercise La Perouse was an exciting opportunity for me on my first voyage, being able to see and participate in operations between navies from a range of other countries,” he said.

“It’s interesting to see that even though we operate different equipment and speak different languages we are all at sea together doing similar jobs and sharing experiences.

“I’ve been involved in a replenishment at sea with the Indian Navy and secured a French Navy helicopter to the flight deck.

“Having the opportunity to go ashore in an overseas port was another great part of the trip.”

Operations Officer Perth Lieutenant Commander Mitchell Vines said the exercise was a valuable activity for Navy to participate with other nations.

“Operating in company with other exercise participants enhanced our capabilities and provided the crew with some great opportunities for development,’ he said.

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CAPTION: HMAS Perth conducts a 12.7mm machine gun live-fire training activity.

“Together we conducted a series of drills at sea, including officer of the watch manoeuvres, a replenishment at sea, gun live fires and helicopter operations.

Perth’s crew worked hard throughout the exercise and it’s great that with pandemic restrictions easing we can again be hosted in overseas ports for short rest and recuperation visits.”

The exercise was an opportunity for the Royal Australian Navy to exercise with like-minded partners in support of an open, resilient and inclusive Indo-Pacific.

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CAPTION: Ships sail in formation during Exercise La Perouse.


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