HMAS Adelaide displays amphibious readiness during Sea Explorer

HMAS Adelaide has completed Exercise Sea Explorer off the North Queensland coast, continuing her integration into the Amphibious Ready Element.

Adelaide embarked an additional 800 personnel at the beginning of the exercise, including Townsville-based 2nd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment and Royal Australian Air Force elements.

The ship conducted a range of training exercises to test her ability to support the embarked elements.

Commander of the Amphibious Task Group, Captain Brett Sonter, said Adelaide had undertaken a number of concurrent activities as part of Sea Explorer.

“As part of the exercise, the ship is being assessed against operational capability requirements,” Captain Sonter said.

The Amphibious Beach Team from Army’s 10 Force Support Battalion disembarked Adelaide via amphibious vehicles, descending onto Cowley Beach to prepare it for the impending wave of personnel and equipment.

Team Commander, Army Lieutenant Monica Merlo, said her team were the link between the ship and shore.

“We are responsible for coordinating the movement of all stores and vehicles from Adelaide to the beach, and then onto the next objective,” Lieutenant Merlo said.

“We do this by using two different types of small boats, as well as the LARCs, an amphibious vehicle, to transfer cargo to the shore. After we have set up, we expect around 500 military personnel and 37 vehicles across Cowley beach to conduct their training.”

Air Force personnel on Adelaide provided air traffic control to the embarked MRH-90 helicopters, which transported Ground Combat Element personnel from the ship to the beach.

Soldiers from 2nd Cavalry Regiment practiced driving light armored vehicles from Adelaide’s landing craft onto Cowley beach, and then reversing back on.

The final exercise in SEA EXPLORER was for Adelaide and her embarked forces to perform a non-combatant evacuation.
One hundred and sixty role players descended on Cowley beach for Exercise Cowley Assist in preparation for their rescue from a simulated disaster.

The Sea Series of exercises will culminate with Exercise Sea Raider later in 2016.

Sea Raider will evaluate if Adelaide and her sister ship, HMAS Canberra, are prepared as an integral part of Australia’s amphibious capability.

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