1 May 2023
HMAS Perth recently hosted military counterparts while in Singapore after completing Exercise La Perouse in the Bay of Bengal.
When heading into Singapore with other participating ships – for respite and replenishment – Perth welcomed aboard personnel from partner nations, including several US Navy officers, for an operations brief and tour.
The visit was also a special reunion for Executive Officer Lieutenant Commander Grant Hamilton, who had worked with the Commanding Officer of USS Charleston while on exchange in the USA.
“It was fantastic to catch up with an old friend in a different part of the world, having just conducted Exercise La Perouse together but on different ships” Lieutenant Commander Hamilton said.
“The crews of both our ships worked hard through our deployments and during this exercise. It was great to see how well our officers engaged, learned from each other and enjoyed their respite during this port visit.”
Perth also hosted officers from JS Suzutsuki for a ship’s tour and to plan a passage exercise together, which was conducted on departure from Singapore.
Also during the port visit, Perth welcomed personnel from the host country’s Republic of Singapore Air Force 123 Squadron for an aviation tabletop discussion and tour.
Able Seaman Combat System Operator Declan Hutchinson said it was enjoyable to host foreign personnel aboard the ship.
“In my role within the operation room I provide safe aircraft control and recommendations for the employment of aircraft. Hosting the Republic of Singapore Air Force was a different aspect of the job and introduced me to some interesting concepts. I enjoy the diverse aspect of the job and opportunity to further develop unique skills,” he said.
“Exercise La Perouse was an opportunity to use these skills with other nations and aircraft I wouldn’t normally see.
“This deployment has been a busy but rewarding one and it was great to get some time alongside for a port visit.”
Visit www.defence.gov.au for imagery of Exercise La Perouse and the post-exercise engagement activities.