Royal Australian Navy Armidale-class patrol boats Glenelg and Albany have been training together with Her Majesty’s Papua New Guinean ships (HMPNGS) Seeadler and Moresby in the Arafura Sea as part of exercise Kakadu.
The ships have been conducting officer-of-the-watch maneuvers, engineering casualty control drills, man overboard exercises and gunnery serials during the biennial exercise.
Commmanding Officer Moresby, Lieutenant Collen Yaperth said he has participated in many KAKADU exercises in the past.
“We get a lot out of these biennial exercises. We get to develop our seaman officer skills, and have a better understanding of fleet work and tactical maneuvers,” he said.
“There is always the possibility we will be called upon to work with the Australian Navy for any number of reasons, so it is great to know we can integrate should we need to.
“Most of our officer training is done in Australia so many of our procedures are the same.”
Australian Navy’s in-house assessment team, Sea Training Group, traditionally are utilised to work crews up to an operational standard, they also participate in exercises such as Kakadu by embarking on foreign vessels to ensure serials run smoothly, program de-confliction and as overall safety observers.
Chief Petty Officer Boatswain Paul Norton who assesses fleet gunnery and seamanship said Sea Training Group’s role was to train, coach and mentor.
“We’re on board to alleviate any communications issues that may arise from misinterpretation of tactical orders, we also generally just take a step back to make sure there are no safety breaches,” he said.
“During this year’s KAKADU I have been embarked on the boats from Papua New Guinea and it is impressive to see the professionalism these guys have.
“A lot of their procedures are almost identical to ours and some, such as steering gear failures, are quite different and interesting to see.”