Rigorous training for deploying Warramunga

Before HMAS Warramunga commenced Australia’s first 2024 Indo-Pacific regional presence deployment, Commanding Officer Commander Jennifer Graham put her crew through rigorous training to ensure they were ‘fully mission capable’.

CAPTIONHMAS Warramunga underway in rough sea state during a regional presence deployment. Story by Lieutenant Commander Andrew Herring. Photos by Petty Officer Leo Baumgartner.

Training began in earnest soon after the Anzac-class frigate sailed from its home port of Fleet Base East, Sydney, in late January, and continued while traversing heavy seas in the Great Australian Bight.

After a logistics visit to Fleet Base West in HMAS Stirling provided a brief reprieve, the ship’s company was further tested in Navy’s Western Australian Exercise Area in the Indian Ocean off the Western Australian coast.

Training covered all aspects of modern warship operations, from core maritime skills such as navigation, manoeuvring, man-overboard drills and small-boat operations using the ship’s two rigid hull inflatable boats, through to helicopter operations, underway replenishment, firefighting, damage control, small-arms practice, engineering incident response and warfare drills at ‘action stations’ – the ship’s highest state of alert.

CAPTIONHMAS Warramunga personnel conduct rigid hull inflatable boat training while the ship is in transit.

After months of training and pre-departure preparations, Commander Graham said she was confident in her crew’s abilities and readiness.

“Having enjoyed the Christmas and New Year break before we departed, the transit around Australia provided an ideal opportunity to bring the team back up to speed and prepare for the deployment ahead,” Commander Graham said.

Commander Graham said the crew enjoyed the chance to train with sister ship, HMAS Stuart, as it returned to sea for the first time since completing the Anzac Midlife Capability Assurance Program.

CAPTIONHMAS Stuart makes a replenishment at sea approach alongside HMAS Warramunga off the coast of Western Australia.

“Regardless of the mission, whenever an Australian warship leaves Australian waters it must be mission capable and ready for anything … and Warramunga certainly is,” Commander Graham said.

And the hard work has already been paying off.

Since commencing the regional presence deployment, Warramunga has operated in company with United States Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force warships in the South China Sea, visited Singapore and is preparing for further engagements with regional partners in a range of maritime warfare exercises and cooperative activities.

Regional presence deployments demonstrate Australia’s commitment to, and engagement with, the region.

The deployments play a vital role in Australia’s long-term security and prosperity by protecting Australia’s interests, preserving a rules-based order, enhancing cooperation and relationships with regional partners and allies, and developing capability and interoperability.

The current regional presence deployment will be completed in late April.

CAPTIONHMAS Warramunga conducts a cooperative activity between Japan, the United States and Australia during a regional presence deployment.


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