WestPloy 16: HMCS Vancouver concludes Kakadu in Australia

Cmdre Buck Zwick addresses Vancouver crew members on the flight deck Sept. 14, prior to the ship sailing for Australia.

Cmdre Buck Zwick addresses Vancouver crew members on the flight deck Sept. 14, prior to the ship sailing for Australia.

SLt Deason, HMCS Vancouver ~

HMCS Vancouver has just concluded another leg of its journey across the Asia-Pacific region with Kakadu.

Upon completion of RIMPAC, Vancouver continued on to Guam, meeting up with Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Ship (JMSDS) Fuyuzuki before continuing the transit west for Darwin, Australia, in order to participate in Kakadu.

With 19 nations participating this year, Kakadu is Australia’s largest international maritime exercise.

Vancouver and JMSDS Fuyuzuki arrived together off Darwin following a replenishment at sea exercise with Her Majesty’s Australian Ship Success, Australia’s battle tanker.

After refuelling, Vancouver came alongside briefly to embark stores prior to proceeding to anchor as final plans and preparations for the exercise were made.

While at anchor, liberty boats shuttled crew members into town to stretch their legs and enjoy the local tourist attractions. Notably, Vancouver participated in the Kakadu sports day event, winning the volleyball and squash titles.

Kakadu is named after Australia’s vast northern national park, known internationally for its saltwater crocodiles and rugged terrain.

The 12-day biennial exercise, which began in 1993, aims to build and strengthen mutual understanding and interoperability through a series of graduated training activities, live weapon firings, and structured tactical free play periods.

Kakadu enables the Royal Australian Navy and regional maritime forces to engage in unique multinational maritime training activities, ranging from constabulary and surveillance scenarios to high-end maritime warfare in a combined environment.

Participating ships and aircraft conducted training exercises including anti-submarine warfare, close quarters manoeuvres, flight operations, and main armament shoots along Australia’s northern shores.

Upon completion of the exercise, Vancouver returned to Darwin for a rest and maintenance period, where members of the ship’s crew had the opportunity to repair, re-focus and prepare for the next phase of the mission.

Up next, Vancouver will proceed north through the archipelagic waters of Southeast Asia in order to conduct a series of high-profile engagements in Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City before heading south for Brisbane and Auckland.

Vancouver will return to the southern waters in time to participate in New Zealand’s fleet review, and then make its way back home to Victoria before the end of the year.

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