Ocean encounter helps prepare for exercise

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collinsTHE Royal Australian Navy’s Collins-class submarine HMAS Sheean has taken advantage of a mid-ocean encounter by getting in some anti-submarine warfare practice on its way to Singapore for a major exercise.

HMAS Sheean will participate in Exercise Bersama Shield 2014 with other Australian Defence Force assets alongside the defence forces of New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore and the United Kingdom in a critical test of interoperability.

On the way past Christmas Island, Sheean encountered the RAN Anzac-class frigate HMAS Stuart (pictured above with HMAS Sheean in the foreground). The Commander of Navy’s Maritime Operations, Commodore Brad Wheeler, said neither vessel could let the chance slip by without engaging in a battle of stealth.

“This is the type of warfare Sheean will be participating in during Bersama Shield so when this opportunity came up, we knew we couldn’t let it go,” Commodore Wheeler said.

“HMAS Stuart had a window in her schedule and hunting submarines is always a challenge.”

collins1In the end, both ships called it a draw and Sheean (pictured at sunset near Christmas Island) continued on its way north.

HMAS Sheean and HMAS Sydney, as well as two RAAF AP-3C Orions, an E-7A Wedgetail and a KA350 King Air will participate in Bersama Shield 14, which will be held in and around the Malaysian and Singaporean coasts.

The Five Power Defence Arrangements between Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore and the United Kingdom is the longest standing multilateral arrangement in South-East Asia.

Australian Department of Defence – News

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