Members of the Australian Navy Ship HMAS Toowoomba and the Pakistan Navy’s PNS Alamgir swapped duties for a day, Aug 17 – 18, during a recent exercise in the Gulf of Oman.

The Commanding Officer HMAS Toowoomba, COmmander Andrew Quinn shares experiences with his Pakistan Navy counter-part CAPT Naveed Ashraf during a visit to the PNS Alamgir. (Photo: RAN Photographer, HMAS Toowoomba)

Naval personnel from the two countries showcased their marine skills and interoperability between coalition partners.

Commanding Officer of HMAS Toowoomba, Commander Andrew Quinn said the opportunity to “cross-deck” allowed two Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Officers and three Petty Officers each day to experience the battle space on PNS Alamgir whilst reciprocal Pakistan Navy ranks had a similar opportunity on Toowoomba

“Given the vast patrol areas that Coalition warships operate within the Middle East it is a rare opportunity to actively exercise and demonstrate capability with other coalition partners,” Quinn said.

“Despite the cultural differences, the experience highlighted the number of similarities faced by nations whilst conducting operations within the Middle East, as well as the welcoming nature of our partners and the focus we all have on the mission at hand.”

The Royal Australian Navy shares mariner skills with the crew of the Pakistan Navy when HMAS Toowoomba (rear) and Pakistan Navy Ship Alamgir (front) conducted a Passage Exercise in the Gulf of Oman. (photo: RAN Photographer, HMAS Toowoomba)

Representatives with specialisations in warfare, marine engineering, communications and supply were provided comprehensive tours of the respective ships whilst also being able to view helicopter operations, boarding exercises and officer of the watch manoeuvres. 

“The serials highlighted that there is considerable goodwill amongst the coalition of nations that are working to counter piracy and terrorism in the region. The two days of combined operations was also testament to the adaptability and willingness of coalition forces to share their knowledge,” Quinn said.

“Those personnel who did not have the opportunity to visit the respective ships still benefitted from the experience of operating in close proximity to another coalition warship and the interaction of systems and procedures.”

The Commanding Officer of HMAS Toowoomba, Commander Andrew Quinn swaps gifts with his counter-part CAPT Naveed Ashraf from the Pakistan Navy's PNS Alamgir during a recent visit and combined exercise. (Photo: by HMAS Toowoomba)

HMAS Toowoomba is presently deployed in support of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) maritime security mission Combined Task Force (CTF) 150.  The Australian Frigate will remain in this region until mid-October, after which it will return to Australia.