Tri-Nation Naval Exercise Pacific Bond Kicks Off

27 June 2013
by
LEUT Grant McDuling

WESTERN PACIFIC OCEAN – The Royal Australian Navy has joined forces with the United States Navy (USN) and Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) to participate in a tri-lateral exercise, Pacific bond 2013, June 22-26.

Pacific Bond is a multi-national naval exercise designed to advance participating nations’ military-to-military coordination and capacity to plan and execute tactical operations in an advanced warfare environment.

Japanese Maritime Defence Force Murasame Class destroyer JMSDF Murasame (left) and US Navy Arleigh Burke Class destroyer USS Preble sail in company with HMAS Sydney as the three warships participate in officer of the watch manoeuvres in the Pacific Ocean during the lead-up to Exercise Pacific Bond 2013. Image: LS Peter Thompson.
Japanese Maritime Defence Force Murasame Class destroyer JMSDF Murasame (left) and US Navy Arleigh Burke Class destroyer USS Preble sail in company with HMAS Sydney as the three warships participate in officer of the watch manoeuvres in the Pacific Ocean during the lead-up to Exercise Pacific Bond 2013. Image: LS Peter Thompson.

“Pacific Bond is about conducting quality multi-national maritime warfare manoeuvres, with this year’s exercise having a heavy focus on anti-submarine warfare,” said CMDR. Karl Brinckmann, HMAS Sydney’s Commanding Officer. “One of the consistent highlights of the Pacific Bond series of exercises is the exchange of personnel between navies, and this year it is no exception with personnel exchanges between HMAS Sydney, JS Murasame and USS Preble. It doesn’t get much better than operating with modern warships from two extremely professional navies.”

Pacific Bond events include anti-submarine warfare exercises, anti-air warfare exercises, helicopter visits, a board, search and seizure exercise, and liaison officer exchanges.

“We are honoured to have the opportunity to work with our Royal Australian Navy and Japan Maritime Self Defence Force counterparts,” said Capt. Paul Lyons, USN, Commander Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15. “As we continue to execute our strategic pivot to Asia as a nation, strong relationships and proven interoperability between our navies at the tactical level of execution will be even more vital in underwriting peace, security and stability in the region as well as preserving the national interests of the U.S. and our allies and partners.”

Exercises like this are routine and demonstrate the continuum of training necessary to achieve greater levels of proficiency in complex mission areas. They enhance participating nations’ ability to conduct multinational operations in-stride with little prior coordination. This is imperative to meeting and flexing to the demands of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

“The purpose of our participation in this exercise is to improve our skills and to deepen our interoperability by conducting training together with the U.S. and Australian navies,” said Capt. Hiroyuki Izumi, commander, Escort Division 1 embarked in JS Murasame. “Conducting this tri-lateral exercise with the naval forces of Japan, the U.S. and Australia, all of whom have high operational skills and sophisticated equipment, is an excellent opportunity for improving JMSDF tactical skills. Through this exercise, we can make the relationship among our three nations even stronger. We would like to take every opportunity to continue these tri-lateral exercises.”

Participants in Pacific Bond 2013 include the Royal Australian Navy guided-missile frigate HMAS Sydney (FFG 03); Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force ship, JS Murasame (DD 101); US guided-missile destroyers USS Preble (DDG 88) and USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93); members of the forward deployed US Destroyer Squadron 15; USN P-3C aircraft from US Commander Task Force 72; one submarine from US Commander Task Force 74; helicopters and personnel from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 and personnel from US Naval Special Warfare Unit 1.

HMAS Sydney is currently embedded in the United States Navy’s 7th Fleet George Washington Carrier Strike Group that is stationed at Yokosuka, Japan. The ship sailed from her home port of Fleet Base East, in Sydney, Australia on 22nd April, 2013 and will be away for about 5 months.

Additional imagery is available at: http://images.navy.gov.au/S20130437.