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Vietnam Today

Royal Australian Navy vessels dock at Saigon Port

Released at: 20:58, 19/04/2018

Royal Australian Navy vessels dock at Saigon Port

HMAS TOOWOOMBA arrives at Saigon Port (Photo: Embassy of Australia)

Three warships arrive for goodwill visit from April 19 to 22.

by Le Diem

Three Royal Australian Navy (RAN) warships have berthed at Saigon Port, beginning a goodwill visit to Vietnam from April 19 to 22.

The helicopter frigates HMAS Anzac and HMAS Toowoomba and the support ship HMAS Success have a total crew of 73 officers and 569 sailors. Commanders and crew will meet with senior officials and sailors from the Vietnamese People’s Navy to engage in a range of goodwill activities and conduct professional experience sharing and exchanges on ship operations, including CUES, PASSEX, Logistics and Medicine at sea and Search and Rescue.

The crew will also participate in a friendly sporting activity with cadets at the Naval Technical College, participate in community engagement in Ho Chi Minh City, and take advantage of the opportunity to explore Vietnam’s rich culture and meet Vietnamese people.

It has been 17 years since there were three Australian Navy vessels visiting Vietnam at the same time and this year marks the celebration of the 20th anniversary of defense relations between the two countries, the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations, and the recent elevation of the bilateral relationship to a strategic partnership. Defense relations continue to expand in areas such as high-level dialogues, visits, and practical engagement activities, including cooperation in education and training, Special Forces, UN peacekeeping, maritime security, aviation safety, and information exchange, according to Colonel Nerolie McDonald, Australian Defense Attaché in Vietnam. “The officers and crew of HMAS Anzac, HMAS Toowoomba and HMAS Success are looking forward to their visit to Ho Chi Minh City as one of the highlights of their deployment,” she said.

HMAS Anzac is commanded by Commander Michael Devine, who is also Commander of the Task Unit-South East Asia Deployment. HMAS Toowoomba is commanded by Commander Stuart Watters, and HMAS Success by Commander Grant Zilko. HMAS Anzac and HMAS Toowoomba are ANZAC Class helicopter frigates with roles including air defense, anti-submarine and surface warfare, surveillance, interdiction, and reconnaissance.

Weighing 3,600 tons and 118 meters in length, HMAS Anzac and HMAS Toowoomba are armed with Evolved Sea Sparrow surface-to-air missiles, Harpoon Block 2 Anti-ship missiles, a Mk 45 127 millimeter gun, and six Mk 32 torpedo tubes. Both are also fitted with a flight deck and a hangar for a multi-role MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter and have a top speed of 27 knots. HMAS Success is a support ship that can perform oil replenishment, ammunition, food and stores supply for other RAN ships at sea. With a displacement of 18,000 tonnes at full load, she is the largest ship built in Australia for the RAN. Capable of day and night replenishment at sea to ships alongside and concurrently by her embarked helicopter to other ships via Vertical Replenishment, HMAS Success enables RAN fleet units to operate with a greater degree of flexibility and independence from shore support than has previously been possible from other RAN sources.

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