Before the sea phases of Exercise KAKADU 2014 kicked off, teams from HMAS Stuart and BRP Ramon Alcraz took the opportunity to conduct additional joint training to exchange expertise and develop skills in boarding operations.
The training was conducted under the watchful eye of Petty Officer Chris Whittaker of the Minor War Vessel Sea Training Unit, who stressed that sharp skills and vigilance are important whenever boarding a suspect vessel at sea.
“Today’s exercises have allowed us to develop interoperability with the Philippine Navy, and for both groups to appreciate the different equipment and procedures utilised by our navies,” Petty Officer Whittaker said.
Stuart’s Boarding Officer, Lieutenant Jarrod Chesher, said the exercise was important for the refinement of knowledge and skills amongst his team.
“It is vital that we continuously train to keep our skills sharp in all Navy work,” he said.
“In all, I am quite happy with the training we conducted, and I was impressed with that of the Philippine team.
“It is a great opportunity to develop multinational cohesion,” Lieutenant Chesher said.
The training occurred in the vicinity of Fort Hill Wharf, Darwin around 400 metres offshore.
The teams trained by boarding the vessel Sapphire Bay, an Australian designed motor yacht owned and operated by Specialist Marine Services, contracted to Defence for training purposes.