Between 17 and 18 August 2011, naval personnel from the two countries showcased their mariner skills and interoperability.
The Commanding Officer of HMAS Toowoomba, Commander Andrew Quinn said the opportunity to “cross-deck” allowed two Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Officers and three Petty Officers each day to experience the battle space on PNS Alamgir while reciprocal Pakistan Navy ranks had a similar opportunity on Toowoomba.
“Given the vast patrol areas that Coalition warships operate within the Middle East it is a rare opportunity that tasked warships can actively exercise and demonstrate capability with other coalition partners,” Commander Quinn said.
“Despite the cultural differences, the experience highlighted the number of similarities faced by nations whilst conducting operations within the Middle East.”
Representatives with specialisations in Warfare, Marine Engineering, Communications and Supply were provided comprehensive tours of respective ships while also being able to view helicopter operations, boarding exercises and Officer of the Watch manoeuvres.
“The serials highlighted that there is considerable good-will amongst the coalition of nations that are working to counter piracy and terrorism in the region. The two days of combined operations was also testament to the adaptability and willingness of coalition forces to share their knowledge.
“The exercise highlighted the welcoming nature of our partners and the focus we all have on the mission at hand irrespective of cultural differences and beliefs.
“For personnel not physically visiting the respective ships the benefits of operating in close proximity to each other fostered the interaction of systems, procedures and the opportunity to conduct serials in line of sight.
HMAS Toowoomba is presently deployed in support of Operation SLIPPER in the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO) assigned to Combined Maritime Forces and will continue its patrol until mid October after which it will return to Australia.