RAAF P-8A Poseidon training in Japan

A RAAF P-8A Poseidon and 33 personnel from 11 Squadron have conducted two training exercises at Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi base in Japan.

CAPTIONCrews and support personnel at NAF Atsugi base in Japan during Exercise AnnualEx 2023. Behind them are a RAAF P-8A Poseidon, left, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force P-1, centre, Royal Canadian Air Force CP-140 Aurora, mid-ground, and United States Navy P-8 Poseidon, right. Photo: Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. Story by Flight Lieutenant Claire Burnet.

The aircraft and team undertook seven sorties during Exercise AnnualEx (from November 10 to 20) and one during Exercise Nichi Gou Trident 23-2 (from November 20 to 21), with further Australian support provided by the Royal Australian Navy’s HMA Ships Brisbane and Stalwart.

Exercise Nichi Gou Trident is an activity between Japan and Australia that provides an opportunity to practise anti-submarine warfare and aircraft interoperability procedures.

Conducted regularly since 2009, it enhances operational understanding between both countries’ maritime patrol aircraft and submarines.

Exercise AnnualEx on the other hand is a multi-lateral exercise with contingents from the United States, Japan, Canada and Australia conducting high-end war fighting in the maritime domain.

RAAF’s P-8A Detachment Commander for the exercises, Squadron Leader Simon Earl, said they both aim to enhance interoperability between participating nations in the region.

“Exercise AnnualEx involved conducting anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare serials in the Philippine Sea, with multiple air and maritime assets deployed from each country,” Squadron Leader Earl said.

This large-scale maritime fleet exercise provided an opportunity for maritime air, surface and sub-surface warfare to engage in interoperability practice.

“Exercise AnnualEx presented a relatively rare opportunity for Australia to practise maritime warfare skills with a large group of international counterparts during a Japanese-led exercise,” Squadron Leader Earl said.

“It’s extremely valuable for our ADF personnel to practise tactics and interoperability procedures in new locations with different geographical terrain and varying weather.”


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