At 0900 hours on Sunday 31 August, HMAS Sydney took the lead of ‘Blue Force’ Task Group 628.1, consisting of JS Hatakaze from Japan and BRP Ramon Alcaraz from the Philippines, sailing in formation from Darwin Harbour to kick off the sea phases of Exercise KAKADU 2014.
Exercise KAKADU is focused on developing high-end naval warfighting skills, and so day one of the exercise started with the Task Group going straight to Action Stations for a series of gunnery, air defence, damage control and flying exercises.
Taking charge of Task Group 628.1, Sydney’s Commanding Officer, Commander Karl Brinckmann, welcomed the opportunity to work with the Japanese destroyer and the Philippine frigate for the exercise.
The first warfare exercises of the day consisted of gunnery exercises using a variety of weapons, including Sydney’s 50 calibre machine guns, Hatakaze’s five-inch gun and Ramon Alcaraz’s 76mm gun.
Air warfare exercises focused on identifying, tracking and engaging F/A-18 Super Hornets and Hawk 127 fighter jets from the Royal Australian Air Force.