Home' Navy News : May 24th 2012 Contents 03
May 24, 2012
SBLT Douglas Smith and
LCDR Simon Franklin
HMAS Ballarat made waves in the
South China Sea as part of the mari-
time component for the annual Five
Power Defence Arrangement Exercise,
Ballarat joined forces with
Malaysian Frigate KD Lekiu and
Singaporean Frigate RSS Supreme
along with HMAS Collins and air-
craft from Australia, New Zealand,
Singapore, Malaysia and Britain from
April 23 to May 4.
This was a particularly busy time
for Ballarat with Sea Training Group
also joining the ship for the duration of
Warfare staff from Sea Training
Group worked closely with ship's staff
before assessing the warfare team in
specific warfare competencies for their
coming north-east Asian deployment.
The exercise provided an excellent
opportunity for this to occur, given the
large and extensive number of assets.
CO HMAS Ballarat CMDR
Jonathan Earley said the training was
"At any one time it was possible
to have 46 aircraft on task providing
early warning, undertaking combat air
patrols, performing air raids against
the force simulating either missile or
fighter ground attacks," he said.
"All this while at the same hav-
ing a sub-surface attacks from Collins
LEUT Adam Ross
NORMALLY a playground for
celebrities and holiday-makers, the
idyllic island of Pulau Tioman was
turned into an international sport-
ing playground as part of the pro-
gram for Exercise Bersama Shield.
On May 1, the RAN (HMA Ships
Collins and Ballarat) took on the
Royal Singaporean Navy (RSS
Supreme) and Royal Malaysian
Navy (KD Lekiu) in hot and humid
conditions on the island, about
100km north of Singapore.
About 200 members of the
ships' companies participated in or
supported the sports day ashore,
which included a round robin of
soccer, volleyball and tug-o-war
The combined might of the
Ballarat and Collins sides domi-
nated the day, winning the soccer
and a very heated tug-o-war com-
petition, but only managed second
place in the volleyball, narrowly
missing out on the top spot to a
very good Malaysian side.
Competition aside, the true
value of the day was to interact
with fellow mariners, share cul-
tural experiences and enjoy a meal
together in the form of a banyan.
The banyan had all ships pro-
viding culinary delights from their
respective countries to the enjoy-
ment of all with many friendships
now firmly established.
The sports day provided wel-
come relief before the final thrust
of the 36-hour war exercise phase
where dozens of aircraft, surface
units and a submarine launched
relentless attacks against the task
Making waves in
South China Sea
and small boat asymmetric attacks
from the Royal Malaysian Navy's 45kt
CB-90 fast attack craft."
He said the exercise was split into
four phases for the maritime force.
"The first involved an extensive
series of briefs during the Harbour
Phase to prepare all participants on the
aims and objectives of the exercise.
"This was followed by the Force
Integration Training Phase, where the
maritime component conducted a very
busy serialised program to build com-
petence, capability and confidence
among the surface units."
The three frigates formed a surface
task group with CO Ballarat acting as
Commander Task Group and, along
with Collins, spent this phase exercis-
ing basic communications, ship han-
dling, aviation and warfare.
The next phase's war exercise
focused on testing the ability of the
maritime task group to operate togeth-
er in a free play environment against
unalerted attack windows during the
day.The exercise culminated in a two-
day live exercise in which the task
group was required to safely escort a
high value unit through the operational
areas against an array of air, surface
and sub-surface threats coming from
anywhere at any time.
One of Ballarat's Junior Warfare
Application Course Phase IV trainees,
SBLT Scott Lytton, said this exercise
was his highlight.
"The uncertainty of the threats and
timings meant anything could happen
and you had to be alert at all times,"
SBLT Lytton said
Adding to the satisfaction,
Sea Training Group assessed the
Operations Team as unit ready in the
required warfare competencies need-
ed for the next stage of Ballarat's
From playground to sports ground
training during Ex
ISLAND VIEW: HMAS Ballarat at anchor off Pulau Tioman.
PROVED WORTH: HMAS Collins
patrols the South China Sea.
a vital role
CMDR Fenn Kemp
HMAS Collins commanding officer
CMDR Jason Cupples praised the pro-
fessionalism and capability of his crew
after Bersama Shield.
"This was reflected in the outstand-
ing results we achieved throughout the
exercise and highlighted by the sub-
marine's ability to remain undetected
and achieve our aim -- the simulated
destruction of the enemy task group,"
CMDR Cupples said his mission
was to disrupt the activities of the Five
Power Defence Agreement task group
that included ships and aircraft from
Britain, Malaysia, Singapore and New
"We were in a highly demanding
environment demonstrating the skills
required to operate in very shallow
water, high contact density operating
"It also showed the flexibility and
resilience of HMAS Collins after we
participated at short notice in the fleet
concentration period, Ex-Triton Storm
2-12 and complex group warfare week,
only four days prior to deploying."
CMDR Cupples said the effective-
ness of the Collins-class submarine
against exceptionally capable anti-
submarine warfare ships and aircraft
was clearly demonstrated.
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