Aussie help with repairs on HMNZS Manawanui in Sydney

A collaborative effort between the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) has strengthened ties during HMNZS Manawanui’s visit to Sydney recently.

CAPTIONRoyal Australian Navy sailors work onboard HMNZS Manawanui with Royal New Zealand Navy sailors to repair a rigid-hulled inflatable boat. Story by Leading Seaman Harry Boardman.

While conducting joint exercises off the East Coast of Australia, Manawanui experienced a defect with its rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB), a potential issue that Fleet Support Unit (FSU) helped rectify during a later port visit to Sydney.

Leading the repair was Lieutenant Timothy Abbott.

“It is a great opportunity to assist the RNZN and to showcase the capability of FSU to our close neighbours,” Lieutenant Abbott said.

Upon receiving the repair request, members from FSU presented to Manawanui and met the engineering team on board.

After an initial inspection, FSU sailors took up the challenge to manufacture a bespoke adapter within the machining workshop and install a CO2 canister to restore the RHIB’s self-righting system.

The quick repairs enabled the ship to remain operational and strengthen relationships with other countries, with no impact to a busy ship’s program.

This collaborative effort between Australia and New Zealand gave New Zealand officers and sailors the opportunity to visit FSU East.

Regional Manager Lieutenant Commander Thomas Liley organised the tour, underscoring the strong ties and shared capabilities between the two nations’ maritime forces.

“Showcasing the capability that FSU has to other nations is vitally important,” Lieutenant Commander Liley said.

“Visiting ships will be able to have repairs conducted by uniformed RAN sailors from Fleet Support Unit.”

RNZN sailors visited the hull, woodwork and laser workshops and witnessed FSU sailors producing laser engravings and signs.

RNZN sailors expressed their admiration for the capability of the unit.

Executive Director FSU Australia Captain Sean Bowers emphasised the importance of such exchanges.

“These visits are crucial for strengthening the bonds between our navies and ensuring we can operate effectively together,” Captain Bowers said.

“Sharing knowledge and best practices helps both our forces remain at the forefront of naval operations and is fully in keeping with the objectives of the DSR (Defence Strategic Review) and NDS (National Defence Strategy) through engagement with our regional partners in the Indo-Pacific.”

CAPTIONRoyal New Zealand Navy officers and sailors from HMNZS Manawanui receive a tour of the Fleet Support Unit workshop.


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