The first iteration of Exercise Pacific Vanguard was successfully held off the coast of Guam over the period 22-28 May 2019, Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead, AM, Commander Australian Fleet, has said.
Exercise Pacific Vanguard is a combined maritime exercise involving key regional defence partners from Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the US.
Exercises included combined manoeuvres, live firing, as well as defensive counter-air and anti-submarine warfare serials. RADM Mead said the exercise was a maritime co-operation activity focused on interoperability, designed to enhance Australia’s ability to contribute to the peace and stability of the region.
"The exercise not only future-proofs Australia’s engagement with partner navies by increasing understanding and experience in co-ordination and communication, it has also helped foster an already strong community built on shared interests," RADM Mead said.
Royal Australian Navy participation included the submarine HMAS Farncomb and two frigates, HMAS Melbourne and HMAS Parramatta.
The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force was represented by the destroyers JS Ariake and JS Asahi. Vice Admiral Hiroyuki Kasui, Commander-in-Chief, Self Defense Fleet, said the exercise deepened the partnership and made a great contribution to the peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
"I sincerely respect and greatly appreciate Rear Admiral Mead’s leadership and contribution devoted by his staffs from planning to execution of the exercise, which brought the best result to the table," he said.
The Republic of Korea participated with their destroyer ROKS Wang Geon.
The US was represented by flagship USS Blue Ridge, guided missile cruiser USS Antietam and guided missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur, fleet replenishment oiler USNS Rappahannock, dry cargo/ammunition ship USNS Richard E. Byrd, as well as a number of aircraft.
Vice Admiral Phil Sawyer, Commander, US 7th Fleet, said the exercise advanced the integration of its forces, enabling it to better respond effectively as a group to the range of events that could occur in the region.
"Our shared values and common interests helped ensure a successful exercise, and our collaboration will help provide security throughout the Indo-Pacific," VADM Sawyer said.