HMAS Toowoomba has exercised with French frigate FS Guépratte in the Gulf of Aden as part of the Australian warship’s support to Combined Task Force 150.
The CTF 150 mission is to stabilise the region by disrupting piracy operations, as well as seeking to counter weapon and narcotic smugglers. During the exercise, Toowoomba and Guépratte conducted ship handling training including Officer of the Watch manoeuvres and replenishment at sea (RAS) approaches, which form core components of a CTF deployment.
Lieutenant Kate Millward said the combined exercise was an excellent opportunity for task force members to deepen their understanding of one another's naval capabilities.
“Our PASSEX was another great opportunity to practice core skills of ship handling and warfare in company with a coalition partner,” she said.
“There are always new things to learn about the way other nations conduct their business at sea and I’m looking forward to taking our lessons learnt into our next patrol.”
The two ships conducted a medium-calibre gunnery firing to practice command and control as well as flex their gunnery skills and operations teams co-ordination. Both proved accurate and efficient under pressure, making short work of the inflatable seaborne target (known informally as a 'Killer Tomato').
In 2019, Toowoomba was awarded the Otranto Shield, given to the Fleet Unit achieving the 'highest standard in gunnery'.