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March 15, 2012
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THE ship's company of HMAS
Parramatta enjoyed a unique experi-
ence when the ship joined the USS
Abraham Lincoln carrier battle group on
February 25 in the North Arabian Sea.
Parramatta closed in on the carrier
group at speed and assumed plane
guard station for the USS Abraham
Lincoln where she was perfectly
positioned to observe the might of the
carrier force in full display.
HMAS Parramatta recently partici-
pated in the Combined Maritime
Forces focused operation Scimitar
Anzac during Operation Slipper.
The focused operation, named
after the popular Middle Eastern
curved sword and reflecting the
Australian representation, was
designed to bolster the safety and
security for mariners transiting
the strategically important Bab Al
Parramatta participated in
consort with Pakistani Navy Ship
PNS Babur, Royal Navy ships HMS
Daring and RFA Wave Knight, and
a host of maritime patrol aircraft.
Embarking four Yemeni Navy and
Coastguard officers as observers
provided valuable insights into the
area and fostered a sense of cama-
raderie for the crew of Parramatta.
The Bab Al Mandeb (BAM) is
an important strategic corridor
linking the Mediterranean Sea to
the Indian Ocean. Almost all of the
trade between the European Union
and China, Japan, India and the
rest of Asia passes through the
passage every day.
Up to 30 per cent of the world's
oil, including all of the oil and
natural gas from the Persian Gulf
heading west passes through this
area daily and more than 20,000
ships per year transit the area.
On station for more than two hours,
Parramatta's ship's company witnessed
the continuous stream of F/A-18
Hornets circling the battle group.
Chaplain Andrew Watters said it
was mind boggling.
"I'd never thought I be so close to
a US carrier to witness the full might
of a carrier group," he said. "It's not
something that I'll forget."
The USS Abraham Lincoln is the
fifth Nimitz-class super carrier in the
At 333 metres long, 77 metres wide
and weighing in at 100,000 tonnes, the
ship is more than 25 times larger than
The Abraham Lincoln is powered
by two nuclear reactors, four steam
turbines and can reach speeds of
more than 30 knots with unlimited
Parramatta departed company
with the carrier group after the brief
encounter to continue with her patrol
in the Arabian Sea.
Parramatta's presence is
contributing to the interoperability of
25 Combined Maritime Force (CMF)
nations and demonstrates Australia's
and the CMF's resolve to maintain
safe access to vital international straits
and the maintenance of good order at
sea.The Anzac Class Frigate is due
to be relieved on station by HMAS
Melbourne and is due to return to
Sydney at the end of the month.
BIG AND BIGGER: HMAS
Parramatta with USS Abraham
Lincoln in the North Arabian Sea.
Photo: LSA Blake Woolard
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