HMAS Newcastle’s capabilities proved invaluable during a complex warfare scenario involving Indian Navy Ships Shivalik and Kamorta during the Australia-India Exercise (AUSINDEX) held off the Western Australian coast.
The ships headed out to sea, after a short harbour phase, to focus on the navies’ interoperability and improvement on their war fighting skills.
Speaking from the bridge of Newcastle, Commanding Officer Commander Mark Sirois said AUSINDEX was an excellent opportunity to see both navies working together.
“I had a good conversation with the commanding officers of the Indian warships and they were extremely impressed with the professionalism of our sailors.
“They were very impressed with the capabilities of working with the submarine, helicopters and the Scan Eagle unmanned aerial vehicle and what it brings to the surface engagement at sea.
“We definitely achieved the aims of the exercise,” he said.
Newcastle’s Communications Officer, Lieutenant Shaun Baldwin said that the exercise allowed for joint operations where communication and mutual understanding were crucial to the successful conduct of complex anti-submarine and surface warfare engagements.
“A key element of AUSINDEX was interoperability between the two navies which was achieved through clear communication and the underlying foundation of a professional war fighting culture among all units involved,” Lieutenant Baldwin said.
“A significant feature of the exercise was the employment of Newcastle’s Scan Eagle unmanned aerial vehicle.
“The platform proved invaluable through improving Newcastle’s situational understanding and providing an enhanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability,” he said.
Overall the exercise provided a unique opportunity to operate in company with the Indian Navy, while achieving valuable learning outcomes.
The activity demonstrated the strong naval ties between the Royal Australian Navy and Indian Navy, in addition to the enduring maritime relationship between Australia and India.
This friendship will be highlighted further by HMAS Newcastle’s upcoming port visit to India.
The sea phase was conducted over 17 -19 June in the Western Australia Exercise
Area and included HMAS Newcastle, submarine HMAS Waller, INS Shivalik and INS Kamorta.
(LEUT Will Singer (author), SBLT Caitlin Fuller (author), ABIS Nicolas Gonzalez (photographer)