HMAS Adelaide on first ever visit to namesake town ahead of army exercise

Royal Australian Navy’s landing helicopter dock HMAS Adelaide III has marked her first visit to the city of Adelaide by delivering vehicles and personnel for the Australian Army’s Exercise Hamel 2016.

Over 600 personnel from four military services have joined the Royal Australian Navy’s amphibious ship, HMAS Adelaide for a transit from Brisbane to Adelaide in preparation for the exercise.

The embarked forces are comprised of personnel from the Australian Army, the US Army and US Marines from the Marine Rotational Force – Darwin.

Exercise Hamel is designed to ensure that Navy and Army can deploy an agile and enabled combat brigade, ready to undertake contingency or operational commitments.

Adelaide, the second of two Canberra class amphibious ships and the largest ever built for the Royal Australian Navy was commissioned on December 4, 2015.

The ships, also known as a landing helicopter docks provide one of the most capable and sophisticated air-land-sea amphibious deployment systems in the world.

“At 230 metres long, and more than 30 metres tall, the 27,000-tonne warship can land a force of over 1,000 personnel by helicopter and water craft, along with weapons, ammunition, vehicles and stores,” Captain Mandziy said.

The Director General of training and doctrine for Army, Brigadier Mick Ryan, said the exercise was designed to develop, confirm, and evaluate the foundation warfighting skills of an Army brigade.

“Each year, Exercise Hamel tests an Army Brigade to ensure they are ready for future operations within a joint task force setting,” Brigadier Ryan said.

Exercise Hamel takes its name from a battle fought in France in 1918. This year it will involve over 8,000 members of the Australian Army, Royal Australian Navy, Royal Australian Air Force, the United States Marine Corps, the United States Army (Pacific) and the New Zealand Army.

This is the first year the exercise has been conducted in South Australia and is taking place in the Port Augusta, Port Pirie, Whyalla and the Cultana training area in June and July.

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