Operation Slipper: Australia’s contribution to the War on Terror

HMAS Newcastle is an Adelaide-class frigate commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy in 1993.

The Adelaide-class is a modified version of the US Navy Oliver Hazard Perry-class in RAN service. Four ships were built in the US and two were built in Australian yards. The vessels are nearing the end of their operational life with two (Canberra and Adelaide) already decommissioned. They will be replaced by Hobart-class air defence destroyers from 2016 onward.

HMAS Newcastle participates in Counter Terrorism Operation

HMAS Newcastle’s boarding team conducts an approach and assist visit with a Dhow in the Middle East Area of Operations.

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) ship HMAS Newcastle is participating in a focused operation in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea as part of the international campaign against terrorism.

During the operation, Newcastle has conducted an Approach and Assist Visit (AAV) to a Yemeni flagged fishing vessel (dhow) in the Gulf of Aden.

Newcastle’s boarding party was invited to board the Yemeni flagged vessel by its crew, and donated a small quantity of sunglasses and sunscreen to the fishermen as a sign of good will.

AAVs are conducted regularly by coalition ships to foster good relationships with the local maritime community by approaching vessels and engaging in dialogue in the maritime environment. AAVs typically include confirmation of the welfare of the mariners, and seek information on what they may have seen in the area or any issues they may have.

Newcastle’s Boarding Officer, Lieutenant Alec Fieldsend said his boarding party was well received by the crew of the Yemeni fishing vessel.

“It’s all about building relationships with them and letting them know that we’re in the area to protect them and to keep the region secure,” LEUT Fieldsend said.

“For most of these fishermen, security in the maritime environment directly relates to their ability to make a living. So, most of them are very happy to see us out here conducting patrols,” he said.

CTF 150 is one of three task forces operated by Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), a 28-nation coalition based in Bahrain.

CTF 150’s Area of Operation (AOO) spans over two million square miles, covering the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Gulf of Oman. The task force exists to create a lawful and stable maritime environment free from terrorism, smuggling and other illegal activities.

Newcastle’s participation in CTF 150 is part of her assignment to Operation SLIPPER – the Australian Defence Force (ADF) contribution to the international campaign against terrorism, counter smuggling and counter piracy in the Gulf of Aden, and enhancing regional maritime security and engagement.

Newcastle’s current deployment is the 55th rotation of an Australian warship to the MEAO since 1990. She is due to return to Australia in October, after handing over Operation SLIPPER duties to HMAS Melbourne.

Imagery is available on the Royal Australian Navy Media Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20130678.

http://news.navy.gov.au/en/Jul2013/Operations/140

Exercise Talisman Sabre 2013

Exercise Talisman Sabre is a biennial joint Australian and United States military exercise. The inaugural exercise took place in 2005 and exercised have continued biennially, focusing on “regional contingencies” and the War on Terrorism.

Exercise Talisman Saber 2013 begins

The USS Blue Ridge arrives at Sydney Harbour for a port visit prior to Exercise Talisman Saber 2013.

More than 28,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and women will be taking to the sea, land and sky in northern Australia as part of Exercise Talisman Saber 2013.Talisman Saber is a biennial training activity jointly sponsored by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Joint Operations Command and the US Pacific Command to train the United States 7th Fleet and Australian Deployable Joint Headquarters staffs as a designated Combined Task Force.

Australian Talisman Saber 2013 spokesman Brigadier Bob Brown, said the training activity would see US and Australian forces mobilise to react to a fictional scenario.

“The scenario will be a peace enforcement mission, that sets the conditions for the task force to hand over to a United Nations peacekeeping force,” Brigadier Brown said.

“The forces will operate in military training areas in central and south-east Queensland, the Northern Territory and the Coral, Timor and Arafura seas. Shoalwater Bay Training Area will be used predominantly, with a large staging area at Defence Base Rockhampton.

“This year Talisman Saber sees further practice and progression of Defence’s emerging amphibious capability. The exercise will be the third block of training for the 2nd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment’s Amphibious Ready Element Landing Force.

“Talisman Saber is a unique and invaluable opportunity to exercise combined and joint Defence capability between Australia and the US.

“As with the previous Talisman Saber exercises, this activity is a major undertaking reflecting the Australian and US alliance and the strength of the military-to-military relationship,” Brigadier Brown said.

Approximately 21,000 US and 7000 Australian Defence Force personnel will be involved in the exercise, along with other Australian Government agencies including the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, AusAID, Australian Federal Police, and Australian Civil-Military Centre.

The ADF has conducted a full environmental impact assessment on the Shoalwater Bay region and strong measures have been put in place for participants to respect and protect the marine environment.

Talisman Saber 2013 runs from 15 July until 6 August 2013.

http://www.defence.gov.au/defencenews/stories/2013/jul/0715.htm