The final week of Exercise KAKADU 2014 has commenced with ‘free-play’ that provides participants with the opportunity to test their naval warfare capabilities, with the ships and aircraft divided into opposing fictional ‘Blue’ and ‘Red’ forces.
The ‘Blueland’ forces, lead by the Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Sydney working together with the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force destroyer JS Hatakaze and the Philippine Navy frigate BRP Ramon Alcaraz, commenced action with a patrol of hostile ‘Redland’ waters.
Early intelligence indicated the presence of a Redlander submarine, with a fast patrol surface vessel – in fact a large, red inflatable target known as a ‘killer tomato’ – located shortly thereafter.
At a distance of approximately four nautical miles, Sydney and Ramon Alcaraz engaged the target with their 76mm guns.
Sydney’s Commanding Officer (and Blue Force Commander), Commander Karl Brinckmann, welcomed the free-play exercises as an opportunity to test the participating ships and their crews.
Once the gunfire exercise had concluded, Blueland forces continued to search for, localise and attempt to classify the Redland submarine, whilst maintaining vigilance for threats from air and sea.
Exercise KAKADU 2014 is Australia’s largest naval warfare exercise of 2014, with eight surface ships, 26 aircraft and 1,200 people from 15 countries participating from 25 August – 12 September 2014.