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www.defence.gov.au/news/NAVYNEWS October 10, 2013
LEUT David Osborne
and SBLT Matthew Stobo
HMAS Newcastle's ship's company
participated in joint training exercises
on September 3 in boarding party, div-
ing and damage control with the Royal
Jordanian Naval Force while alongside
Aqaba in Jordan.
Boarding party member ABMT
Blake Wade said the Jordanians dis-
played strong skills in boarding and
securing a target vessel.
"They demonstrated the need for
fast movement through the vessel, tac-
tical entry into unknown spaces and
rapid domination to subdue would-be
assailants," AB Wade said.
"They moved through the ship
quickly, weapons up and it was very
intimidating. Before I knew it they had
It was then Newcastle's turn to strut
the skills they had honed in theatre in
more than 130 boarding actions.
The Australians and Jordanians
later combined to cooperatively con-
duct a boarding.
ABBM Martin Reay said it was an
effective way of proving that the train-
ing both teams received was of a high
"The Jordanians' skills are obvi-
ously first class," he said.
"They were well trained, well pre-
pared and well equipped. They real-
ly impressed us with the speed with
which they executed the boarding and
with their teamwork."
Back on board, Newcastle's dam-
ON DECK: LSMT Travis Spry and AB Ryan Taylor demonstrate repair
techniques on a simulated burst fire main to Jordanian sailors
Photo: POIS Phil Cullinan
age control instructors put on a tour
and training opportunity for other
The visitors were shown a dem-
onstration of fire-fighting in one of
Newcastle's machinery spaces. This
allowed them to see the quick response
and teamwork that these evolutions
Newcastle's duty watch provided a
demonstration of the damage control
equipment, including wet drills on the
Australian and Jordanian divers
also conducted combined training,
searching for potential mine threats on
The Australians then demonstrat-
ed their force protection procedures,
which included a wharf search.
ABCD Marco Valensise said it was
a great day to be in the water.
"The visibility was great, we found
the mine threat and saved the ship and
the day -- what more could you ask
for?" he said.
LEUT Thomas Craig
HMAS Newcastle conducted an
airborne mine disposal (AMD)
training exercise while patrolling
in the Gulf of Aden.
LSA Richard Close said
AMD was a method of destroy-
ing a mine by dropping clear-
ance divers from a helicopter
to neutralise an anti-ship mine
"We fly three divers out to
a suspected anti-ship mine in
Gremlin, Newcastle's embarked
Seahawk," LS Close said.
"As we close into the vicinity
of the anti-ship mine, two of the
divers will jump into the water
from a height of about 6m while
the helicopter is still moving
towards the target."
ABCD Marco Valensise was
one of the two divers and said it
was a great experience.
"The whole evolution was a
great opportunity to do some-
thing a little out of the ordinary
and practise something we
haven't done since our initial
training course," he said.
POCD Brenton Walters re-
mained in the aircraft to control
the diving aspect of the evolu-
tion and said one diver had to
light the fuse on the explosives
before returning to the aircraft.
"We lowered the winch to the
waterline so if there's a prob-
lem, the diver can at least get in
the harness and be winched to
safety," PO Walter said.
"However, as this was a
training exercise there was no
danger of anything exploding."
Divers' explosive exercise
IN TRAINING: A clearance diver
attaches a simulated counter-mine
charge to an exercise mine before
being winched back onto Newcastle's
Photos: LSA Corey Wright
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