The Royal Australian Navy has joined an eight-ship fleet with more than 1,500 personnel aboard from Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United States for Exercise Pacific Vanguard, in waters off Guam.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the exercise brings together four key likeminded regional partners, working in support of a shared vision for a secure, open, prosperous and inclusive region.
“The increasing complexity of our security environment highlights the importance of maintaining and growing our regional partnerships,” Minister Reynolds said. “Ours is a strong community built on shared interests, and activities like Exercise Pacific Vanguard increase our ability to contribute to the peace and stability of the Indo-Pacific.”
Royal Australian Navy Anzac Class frigates HMAS Stuart (FFH 153) and HMAS Arunta (FFH 151) will participate in this third iteration of Pacific Vanguard. During the exercise, naval forces will practice a range of activities, including combined manoeuvers, surface warfare, live-fire exercises, anti-submarine warfare and replenishment at sea.
Commander of the Australian Maritime Task Group, Captain Phillipa Hay, CSC, RAN said the Royal Australian Navy welcomed the opportunity to work with key regional partners on complex warfighting skills within a task group.
“It’s more important than ever to increase practical cooperation with regional partners,” Captain Hay said. “Pacific Vanguard is an invaluable opportunity to increase the Royal Australian Navy’s understanding and experience working with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Republic of Korea Navy and United States Navy.”
Other vessels participating in the exercise are
Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) will be represented by Atago class guided missile destroyer JS Ashigara (DDG-178) and Hyūga-class helicopter destroyer JS Ise (DDH-182).
Republic of Korea Navy will be represented by Chungmugong Yi Sun-sin-class destroyer ROKS Chungmugong Yi Sun-sin (DDH-975) and Sejong the Great-class destroyer ROKS Seoae Ryu Seong-ryong (DDG-993).
The U.S. Navy vessels participating in the exercise are Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG-52), Military Sealift Command (MSC) Henry J. Kaiser-class underway replenishment oiler USNS John Ericsson (T-AO-194) and a submarine.
The exercise is part of the Royal Australian Navy’s Regional Presence Deployment through Southeast Asia and the Pacific, which demonstrates Australia’s enduring commitment to the Indo-Pacific region.
Exercise Pacific Vanguard was conducted in accordance with COVID-19 safety measures.