HMAS Brisbane launches its Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile during Exercise Pacific Vanguard.
HMAS Brisbane launches its Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile during Exercise Pacific Vanguard.

US and Allied Navies Conduct Exercise Pacific Vanguard 2021 Off Coast of Australia

Maritime forces from Australia, Japan, Republic of Korea, and the United States met in the waters off the eastern coast of Australia to conduct cooperative maritime exercise Pacific Vanguard (PACVAN) 2021 beginning July 5. The Royal Australian Navy is hosting this year’s exercise, demonstrating shared trust and cooperation amongst the four nations. PACVAN is an opportunity for the four Indo-Pacific navies to strengthen their skills in maritime operations including anti-submarine warfare, air warfare, live-fire missile events, and advanced maneuvering scenarios.

Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Takanami-class destroyer JS Makinami (DD 112) conducts a VLRIM-7M live-fire missile exercise during exercise Pacific Vanguard 2021.
Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Takanami-class destroyer JS Makinami (DD 112) conducts a VLRIM-7M live-fire missile exercise during exercise Pacific Vanguard 2021.(Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Daniel Serianni/US Navy)

“Exercise Pacific Vanguard builds on the strong and longstanding relationship between the Royal Australian and United States navies and reflects our shared commitment to robust navy-to-navy relationships across the region,” said Cmdr. Aaron Cox, commanding officer, HMAS Brisbane. “Our fleet has enjoyed multiple chances to work with the United States Navy this year and the crew of Brisbane is eager to test their skills with USS Rafael Peralta and show how our capabilities combine.

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The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) fires its 5-inch gun during exercise Pacific Vanguard 2021.
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) fires its 5-inch gun during exercise Pacific Vanguard 2021. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Daniel Serianni/US Navy)

Representing Australia are the Royal Australian Navy Hobart-class destroyer HMAS Brisbane (DDG 41), Collins-class submarine HMAS Rankin (SSG 78), and aircraft from the Royal Australian Air Force. Representing the U.S. Navy is the newest addition to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Raphael Peralta (DDG 115). The Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy Chungmugong Yi Sun-sin-class destroyer ROKS Wang Geon (DDH 978) participated in the exercise.

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) fires a SM-2 missile during exercise Pacific Vanguard 2021.
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) fires a SM-2 missile during exercise Pacific Vanguard 2021. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Daniel Serianni/US Navy)

The Royal Australian Navy HMAS Brisbane initiated the combined firepower with the launch of an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM). This was followed by missile firings from JS Makinami and USS Rafael Peralta. The ships operated as a task group led by ROKS Wang Geon, which included the Australian submarine HMAS Rankin. As well as the live-missile firings, the four partner nations are conducting a range of training activities, including surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare and ship-to-ship communications.

HMAS Brisbane launches its Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile during Exercise Pacific Vanguard.
HMAS Brisbane launches its Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile during Exercise Pacific Vanguard. (Photo by Leading Seaman Daniel Goodman)
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