USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112), along with a P-8 Poseidon maritime-surveillance aircraft assigned to the “Pelicans” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 45, and staff from Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, and Commander, Task Force 70 participated in the Australian naval exercise Kakadu, Sept. 6-13.
Held biennially, Kakadu is the Royal Australian navy’s premier exercise and provides an opportunity for regional nations to participate in multinational maritime activities. The 2018 exercise featured 24 ships and one submarine from 15 countries.
“Kakadu was a valuable experience for Michael Murphy’s crew, and I am proud to say they performed exceptionally well throughout the harbor and at-sea phases,” said Cmdr. Kevin Louis, commanding officer of Michael Murphy. “Learning to operate with ships from many different nations can be a challenge, but we adapted quickly and ultimately Kakadu was an outstanding training opportunity for our watch teams.”
The exercise began with an in-port planning conference in Darwin, Australia. During the conference, Sailors from Michael Murphy participated in a sports competition, enjoyed a cultural festival of nations, toured foreign ships, and hosted tours of Michael Murphy for sailors from other navies.
Once at sea, the exercise participants trained together to complete a series of complex at-sea warfighting scenarios, including tactical maneuvering, underway replenishment, air defense exercises, anti-submarine warfare exercises, search and rescue training, and gunnery exercises.
“Kakadu 2018 was an awesome opportunity to work with our international maritime partners and showcase not only our crew’s abilities, but also the P8-A Poseidon’s capabilities,” said Lt. j.g. Brendan Perry, from VP-45. “The exercise provided challenging scenarios that were enhanced with the chance to work with partner nations and improve our ties throughout the region.”
Michael Murphy is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. The ship is named for Lt. (SEAL) Michael P. Murphy, a New York native, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan in 2005. Murphy was the first person to be awarded the medal for actions in Afghanistan and the first member of the U.S. Navy to receive the award since the Vietnam War.