The ANZAC-class Guided Missile Frigate, HMAS Ballarat, has arrived in Japan for maritime exercises with Japan and the United States.
After a short port visit to the city of Kure, HMAS Ballarat will participate in the Australian–Japanese bilateral Exercise Nichi Gou Trident 2012 from 4–6 June 2012.
The exercise will be conducted in waters south-east of Japan’s Kyushu Island and will focus on complex under sea warfare, maritime interdiction operations and other core mariner skills activities.
Ballarat will be joined by a Royal Australian Air Force AP3-C Orion maritime patrol aircraft, the Japanese Guided Missile Destroyer, JS Shimakaze, and a submarine from the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force.
At the end of this exercise, the Australian and Japanese forces will be joined by the United States Navy for exercise Pacific Bond 2012 where the US Navy will contribute aircraft, ships and a submarine. This exercise will again focus on under sea warfare and seek to further improve interoperability between the three navies within the region.
Ballarat’s Commanding Officer, Commander Jonathan Earley, said the exercises reaffirmed the deep commitment towards regional engagement and interest in maritime security.
“They also represent excellent opportunities for the Royal Australian Navy to further hone our high-end warfare skills with Navies who share maritime interests similar to ours.”
HMAS Ballarat is now close to the end of a four-month deployment through south- and north-east Asia and will return to Sydney in June.
Naval Today Staff, June 1, 2012; Image: Australian MoD