Royal Australian Navy personnel have taken part in a Royal New Zealand Navy “Exercise Anchorite” using autonomous underwater vehicles.
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The RAN Maritime Geospatial Warfare Unit (MGWU) was invited to train in conducting survey operations by lead planner HMNZS Matataua with the Military Hydrographic Group (MHG).
MGWU attended multi-beam echo sounder operations in Port Underwood with the MHG Survey Search and Rescue Team as well as operations in Great Barrier Island with the MHG Mine Countermeasures Team.
Petty Officer Hydrographic Systems Manager Duthie said it was a beneficial training environment and an opportunity to visit his family within the area.
“As well as training and integrating with the Royal New Zealand Navy, this exercise has given me the opportunity to reunite with my family,” PO Duthie said.
“It has been an invaluable experience from both a professional and personal perspective.”
Personnel were able to use the REMUS 300 AUV to conduct autonomous underwater vehicle training with the Mine Countermeasures Team.
Lieutenant Callan, who participated in the exercise, said the opportunity was vital for improving the Royal Australian Navy’s own capabilities.
“The REMUS 300 is at the cutting edge of AUV technology, and we were very lucky to experience it first-hand,” LEUT Callan said.
Earlier this week, the armies of New Zealand and Australia signed a Bilateral Service Cooperation Plan to create a formalised framework for sustained cooperation across strategic engagement, capability, training, readiness and common personnel issues.
Chief of the New Zealand Army Major General John Boswell said it’s a significant step forward for the trans-Tasman strategic partnership, with a focus on improved interoperability.
“As close neighbours and allies, we have a mutual commitment to support each other’s security, closely coordinate our efforts in the South Pacific, and maintain a shared focus on the security and stability of our wider region. This plan ensures our armies can continue to effectively contribute to that,” he said.
“This agreement will make sure both armies can work as efficiently as possible, complementing each other’s capabilities and capacity.
“It provides a focus and framework to take ongoing conversations and engagements between allies and mates and formalise these to improve existing cooperation.
“We will be able to better share lessons across capability development, doctrine for training, and many other areas related to the generation, and in the New Zealand Army’s current case, the regeneration of land combat capability.”
The objectives in the agreement are based on longstanding trans-Tasman defence cooperation, captured in the 2018 Joint Statement on Closer Defence Relations.
“Our armies have a deep history of operational service, organisational cooperation, regional partnerships and mateship. For more than a century, we have served our nations, supported global peace and upheld regional stability together. We will continue to do just that,” MAJGEN Boswell said.