Garden Island is expected to host three international warships this weekend, as part of a COVIDSafe visit in the lead up to Exercise Pacific Vanguard.
Garden Island is expected to host warships from the US, South Korea and Japan this weekend ahead of Exercise Pacific Vanguard. The three warships are scheduled to make a COVIDSafe and contactless port visit alongside HMAS Brisbane on 3 July.
The ships are timetabled to enter through Sydney Heads at 7am, and are expected to return to Garden Island between 10 and 13 July.
Pacific Vanguard, the event which has bought the warships together, is an exercise designed to improve the warfighting abilities of Australia and our regional allies.
Defence has confirmed that the ships will have no interaction with Australian defence members in order to ensure COVID restrictions are maintained, although members on board the ships USS Rafael Peralta, JS Makinami and ROKS Wang Geon will be able to access a quarantine area.
Commodore Jonathan Earley, Deputy Commander Australian Fleet, confirmed that Australia has welcomed the training forces in a COVIDSafe environment.
“We are pleased to welcome our friends from partner nations for a contactless, COVIDSafe visit to Sydney,” CDRE Earley said.
“However, the need to abide by NSW restrictions means the crews will only experience Sydney from their ships.
“Personnel will only step ashore to resupply their ships from the controlled quarantine zone on the wharf or for essential medical reasons, in accordance with NSW government guidelines.
“While foreign personnel will not have shore leave, our navies will interact at sea during Exercise Pacific Vanguard, which takes place off Australia’s east coast next week.
“It is important that we continue to take advantage of multinational training opportunities during the pandemic, so we can work together as a combined force to protect our region in an increasingly complex strategic environment.”
[Related: NATO forces mobilise for Exercise Sea Breeze]