Following a battery of combat system trials, the Royal Australian Navy’s newest guided missile destroyer, HMAS Brisbane, has arrived in San Francisco to participate in the 2019 Fleet Week celebrations.
Fleet Week is a US Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard tradition in which active military ships and personnel recently deployed in overseas operations dock in a variety of major cities for one week.
Fleet Week events occur across the US and honour the contributions of men and women of the armed forces while advancing co-operation and knowledge among civilian and military based humanitarian assistance personnel.
Brisbane was joined in San Francisco by five US Navy vessels including one of its newest destroyers, USS Zumwalt, and two US Coast Guard cutters, with over 2,000 American service men and women participating in the festivities.
Brisbane engaged in many of the community activities including Ships Open Day, Blessing of the Fleet, Paramedic Ride Along, Art Exhibition, the Annual Italian Heritage Parade and hosting local dignitaries and business leaders for trade and investment dialogues.
As part of the ship's official duties, Brisbane demonstrated her support to the engagement by hosting an official reception that concluded with a Ceremonial Sunset, bringing together local dignitaries, business leaders and Senior US Navy personnel.
The evening was a resounding success and built upon the strong relationship between Australian and American cultures in both an official and social capacity.
During the visit, Brisbane’s ship's company invited to attend the ‘Fleet Week Hero’s Concert’, in which over 12,000 people gather to honour the efforts of those personnel who serve in the both the military and first responders.
Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Alex Trevatt was delighted to have been among Brisbane’s officers and sailors in attendance at the event.
"San Francisco’s residents exhibited so much pride in their service men and women and it pays tribute to the ongoing service of active military personnel deployed both at home and abroad," AB Trevatt said.
The visit concluded with public open day in which over 2,500 locals from San Francisco visited Brisbane for tours throughout the ship and gained an appreciation of the ships systems and capabilities.
HMAS Brisbane is the second of three Hobart Class guided-missile destroyers, the most complex and capable warships Australia has operated.
The ship, alongside HMA Ships Hobart and Sydney, will primarily provide air defence for accompanying ships, in addition to land forces and infrastructure in coastal areas.
HMAS Brisbane is in the US completing her combat system trials and is due to return to Australia in December. Australia's Hobart Class guided missile destroyers (DDG) are based on Navantia's F100 Alvaro De Bazan Class of frigates and incorporate the Lockheed Martin Aegis combat management system with Australian-specific equipment to ensure that the RAN is capable of defending Australia and its national interests well into the next two decades.
The Hobart Class' Spanish counterparts entered service with the Spanish Navy beginning in the early 2000s, working alongside key NATO and US maritime assets.
When deployed to the Persian Gulf, the F100s became the first foreign Aegis-equipped ships to fully integrate into a US Navy Carrier Strike Group, while the class has also successfully deployed as the flagship of NATO's Maritime Group Standing Reaction Force, highlighting the individual and interoperable capabilities of Navy's new destroyers.
The vessels will be capable across the full spectrum of joint maritime operations, from area air defence and escort duties, right through to peacetime national tasking and diplomatic missions.
The Hobart Class combat system is built around the Aegis Weapon System. Incorporating the state-of-the-art phased array radar, AN/SPY 1D(V), will provide an advanced air defence system capable of engaging enemy aircraft and missiles at ranges in excess of 150 kilometres.
While based upon the Spanish F100s, the Australian vessels incorporate a number of modifications and Australian-specific structural/design and combat system modifications to provide a uniquely Australian surface combatant with international provenance.