The crew of HMAS Ballarat has successfully conducted training with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ship Murasame during the Regional Presence Deployment. The ships, which rendezvoused off the coast of Japan, remained in company for a day and conducted various maritime manoeuvres. During the training, Ballarat and Murasame conducted a series of maritime evolutions, collectively referred to as “Officer of the Watch” manoeuvres, and Ballarat’s MH-60R helicopter conducted a deck landing on Murasame as part of the activity.
Commander Pisani said the successful training demonstrated that Australia can continue operating effectively in the region despite the challenges of the global pandemic. “Ballarat has had an extremely successful deployment since leaving our homeport of Fleet Base West in Perth almost two months ago. Together with our partner nations, we have proved that significant deployments such as this can be carried out safely in a persistent COVID-19 environment by conducting contactless engagements.” Commander Pisani said.
Ballarat’s Commanding Officer, Commander Antony Pisani said the training with Japan improved interoperability and enhanced cohesiveness. “Activities like this one are extremely important in building mutual trust and respect among partner nation navies. They allow us to develop common goals and have a better understanding of how we conduct business in the maritime environment.” Commander Pisani said.
Because of the global pandemic, Ballarat is only conducting essential logistics visits while deployed, and all resupply evolutions are being carried out in accordance with strict COVID-19 mitigation methods. HMAS Ballarat (FFH 155) is an Anzac-class frigate of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The frigate was laid down in 2000 and commissioned into the RAN in mid-2004. Ballarat has undergone the Anti-Ship Missile Defence (ASMD) upgrade, completing in 2015. In April 2021, “Ballarat” took part in the search for the missing Indonesian Navy submarine KRI Nanggala (402).