The Royal Australian Navy Maritime Geospatial Warfare Unit (MGWU) took part in a Royal New Zealand Navy-led exercise providing both nations an opportunity to exchange professional techniques.
CAPTION: Members of the Royal Australian Navy Maritime Geospatial Warfare Unit, Royal New Zealand Navy and US Marine Corps with a REMUS 300 autonomous underwater vehicle at Great Barrier Island, New Zealand. Story by Commander Amy Bulters.
As lead planner for Exercise Anchorite, HMNZS Matataua provided an annual opportunity for their Military Hydrographic Group (MHG) to train in a wide range of environments.
MGWU were invited to attend multi-beam echo-sounder operations in Port Underwood with the MHG Survey Search and Rescue Team and operations on Great Barrier Island with the MHG Mine Countermeasures Team.
The team from MGWU began their training conducting survey operations, used to support Land Information New Zealand national charting action.
Petty Officer Hydrographic Systems manager Petty Officer Eric Duthie said it was a beneficial training environment and also an opportunity to visit his family within the area.
“As well as training and integrating with the Royal New Zealand Navy, this exercise has given me the opportunity to reunite with my family,” Petty Officer Duthie said.
“It has been an invaluable experience from both a professional and personal perspective.”
By conducting autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) training with the Mine Countermeasures Team, MGWU gained access to new and emerging technology and equipment such as the REMUS 300 AUV.
Lieutenant Callan, who participated in the exercise, said the opportunity was vital for improving the Royal Australian Navy’s own capabilities.
“The REMUS 300 is at the cutting-edge of AUV technology and we were very lucky to experience it first-hand,” Lieutenant Callan said.
MGWU has about 50 active members spanning across three locations in Sydney, Cairns and Nowra.
The unit supports a wide range of capabilities including deployable geospatial-survey teams and mobile meteorology and oceanography teams.