December 10, 2018 – Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Minehunters HMA Ships Gascoyne and Huon have been commended by Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) Captain Yasushi Noguchi, the Commanding Officer of Mine Warfare Division Three, for their excellent result in successfully finding all underwater mines in a designated exercise area in minimal time.
Lieutenant Commander Ryan Kelly, Chief of Staff to the Australian Mine Warfare Squadron and embarked Liaison Officer on JMSDF Ship Bungo, noted the fine performance of the RAN units.
“For the JMSDF, Australia’s involvement in Exercise HYUGA NADA was been hugely successful.
“Our participation here has set the standard for future mine warfare exercises in the region,” said LCDR Kelly.
During the exercise, both RAN units operated ships sonar and remote mine disposal vehicles (MDV) in the detection and identification of six underwater mines. The search and discovery phase was assisted by excellent external conditions. Crews approached the task with enthusiasm and a small amount of competition.
“The Australian units acted swiftly and set a high benchmark for the JMSDF,” said CAPT Noguchi.
In conjunction with the Mine hunting activities, the RAN units deployed clearance divers in Explosive Ordnance Demolition diving training. Both dive teams conducted multiple dives which tested all team members and achieved the required outcomes.
For Gascoyne’s Diving Officer, Lieutenant Jason Dawson, the diving exercise was the culmination of high-quality training conducted prior to arrival in the region.
“Despite reduced underwater visibility, the team excelled thanks to good preparation,” said LEUT Dawson.