Naval and air assets from the ADF recently joined forces with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) for Exercise Nichi Gou Trident (NGT) 23-2 during a regional presence deployment.
Australia and Japan have conducted the bilateral exercise together since 2009, which aims to strengthen the military relationship between the two countries.
For NGT 23-2, HMA Ships Brisbane and Stalwart and a RAAF P-8A aircraft joined JS Sazanami, a P-1 maritime patrol aircraft and a submarine, with a key focus on Intelligence, Reconnaissance and Surveillance (ISR), and interoperability between the aircraft and warships.
HMAS Toowoomba later conducted an additional bilateral exercise, NGT 23-3, testing communication and cooperation with a JMSDF P-3C aircraft.
Commander Australian Maritime Task Group Captain Hamish Frazer said NGT continues to strengthen the relationship between Japan and Australia.
“NGT was a very valuable opportunity for the ADF to work closely with the JMSDF in a bilateral setting after the proven success of the larger multilateral Exercise Annualex,” he said.
“The ADF’s conduct of exercises during regional presence deployments demonstrates Australia’s resolve for a stable, peaceful, resilient and prosperous Indo-Pacific.
“The crews of our three ships deployed on regional presence deployment have also had the privilege to visit Japanese ports during periods of respite and enjoy the rich culture and excellent cuisine.”
Petty Officer Cameron Lambourne, an electronics technician from HMAS Stalwart, said he has enjoyed the interaction with the JMSDF and other nations throughout the regional presence deployment.
“Stalwart departed in October for the deployment, which has been an enjoyable challenge with many hurdles and learning curves being experienced and overcome,” he said.
“Stalwart and her crew provided support to several nations during her time at sea, with a number of successful replenishment-at-sea evolutions conducted in an array of different sea states and weather conditions.
“I am proud to be part of the crew and look forward to future deployments to enable consolidation from lessons learnt as well as the opportunity to work with different nations from around the world.”
NGT took place following Brisbane and Stalwart’s conduct of Annualex, which was led by the JMSDF and included other units from the US Navy, Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Australian Air Force and observers from the Philippine Navy.