A rendezvous at sea – and above it
HMAS Anzac recently rendezvoused with US Navy destroyer USS Chung-Hoon, sailing in company and conducting flying operations in the South China Sea.
CAPTION: HMAS Anzac (right) sails in company with USS Chung-Hoon through the South China Sea during a regional presence deployment. Photo by Leading Seaman Jarryd Capper.
It was a busy day for MH-60R pilot Lieutenant Damon Millichamp, who ensured the safe and efficient operation of Anzac’s helicopter during the sortie, while conducting his first deck landing onto a foreign ship.
“The flight involved a maritime surface search and deck landing on board Chung-Hoon,” Lieutenant Millichamp said.
“We began the sortie by identifying nearby maritime traffic with our radar and inbuilt optical camera before conducting three deck landings on board Chung-Hoon.
“The US Navy deck team were very professional and this enabled our crossdeck operations to run seamlessly.
“We also thoroughly enjoyed the enthusiasm of their aircraft marshalling signals.”
Chung-Hoon’s MH-60R also conducted three deck landings on board HMAS Anzac, furthering the opportunity to practise working together while under way at sea.
Lieutenant Millichamp posted to Anzac in March, with the Flight 4 Team, which includes aircraft technicians, avionics technicians, aircrewmen, aviation warfare officers and pilots.
Anzac’s regional presence deployment began in mid-April and has afforded the ship’s company several opportunities to work with Australia’s partners in the Indo-Pacific region.
“I worked with the Singaporean and Malaysian navies during the recent Exercise Bersama Shield and was impressed with the interoperability between vessels and aircraft, despite being from different militaries and language backgrounds,” Lieutenant Millichamp said.
“Operating off the back of a ship at sea in all types of weather conditions can be quite challenging, but successfully completing a mission and landing your crew safely back on deck is inherently satisfying.”