24 November 2022
Destroyer HMAS Hobart participated in high-end warfighting exercises off southern Japan with ships and submarines from the US Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Royal Navy, and Royal Canadian Navy from November 8-18.
The theme of Exercise Keen Sword 2022 was enhancing professional interactions in a complex multi-dimensional environment.
Hobart air warfare officer Lieutenant Commander Chad Mapp said it was a rewarding experience to prove and refine joint integration.
“Hobart’s participation in Exercise Keen Sword has served to strengthen our position as a partner of choice and be a visible symbol of the Australian Government’s commitment to regional stability,” Lieutenant Commander Mapp said.
“Hobart conducted a number of serials to demonstrate our warfighting effectiveness. This included exercising while being under a persistent submarine and air threat, as well as conducting surface-to-surface gunnery.”
In the gunnery exercise Hobart, JS Asahi and Setogiri, and HMCS Winnipeg fired their biggest guns in sequence.
Hobart’s activities with the US Navy included integrating with the USS Ronald Reagan carrier strike group.
On a dark night with no visible moon or stars, the destroyer provided a horizon reference for carrier air operations.
Hobart also conducted a night replenishment at sea with underway replenishment oiler USNS Rappahannock.
Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Kirie South said it went well.
“It’s been really good to work alongside and get exposure to different Navies,” Able Seaman South said.
It took 50 minutes to transfer 320,000 litres of marine diesel fuel between the ships from connection to disconnection.
“We haven’t done a night replenishment at sea since I posted on in July 2021,” Able Seaman South said.