The boarding party of Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Newcastle trained with the United States Coast Guard members during the frigate’s first port visit while deployed in the Middle East.
Australian personnel completed a five-day course delivered by the Coast Guard at the Naval Support Activity in Bahrain which was supported by Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents.
The training covered the latest in search techniques and the use of specialist search equipment, giving Newcastle’s boarding party the means to find any hidden cargo when boarding suspect vessels.
The NCIS training focused on investigation techniques and the collection of evidence. The new skills learnt will help members collect information about criminal and terrorist organisations that smuggle drugs and arms in the Middle Eastern region.
Australia is one of 31 nations contributing to the Combined Maritime Forces whose mission is to defeat terrorism, prevent piracy, encourage regional cooperation, and promote a safe maritime environment.
Having arrived in the Middle East in mid-July, Newcastle is already operating in support of the mission, and now her boarding party has further high level training to put into action.