Oct 2012: First NZ visit by Singapore Navy frigate includes exercise with RNZN
Following a day of alongside activities in Devonport that included professional exchanges and a sports competition on 15 October, Navy ships TE KAHA and ENDEAVOUR completed two-and-a-half half days of exercises at sea with the Singaporean Frigate STALWART that included helicopter, gunnery and replenishment operations. Despite the blustery spring weather the exercise was business as usual for the three ships that had operated very closely last month in a multinational exercise off Darwin.
The RNZN and Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) have a close and longstanding relationship that has been forged over decades by regular bilateral and multinational exercises and combined participation in operations.
EXERCISE LION ZEAL 12 was the first time that the RSN had deployed a Frigate to New Zealand, which provided the sailors from TE KAHA and ENDEAVOUR the chance to reciprocate some of the hospitality shown during regular RNZN visits to Singapore. The exercise was something of an encore for TE KAHA which has completed six exercises with the RSN in the last 18 months; three in Singapore and the South China Sea; exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) in Hawaii and more closer to home EXERCISE KAKADU off Darwin.
“The RSN are one of the Pacific Rim navies that we work most closely with,” said Commander Jon Beadsmoore Commanding Officer of TE KAHA.
The exercise itself provided the ships with opportunities to practice a variety of warfare skills including live firing of medium range guns. RSS STALWART was able to operate a New Zealand Seasprite helicopter from her deck and the operations teams from all ships worked closely together throughout the period.
Sea training teams from both navies formed a combined training team in order to share information and techniques and ran a series of internal training drills in both of the frigates.
Although there was only three days between the welcoming powhiri at the Navy Marae and the closing ceremony at anchor off Gulf Harbour a great deal was achieved and another plank laid in the ongoing friendship between the two navies.
Picture: RSS STALWART, HMNZS ENDEAVOUR and HMNZS TE KAHA in formation.