HMS Spey alongside allies on Australia's biggest military exercise
HMS Spey alongside allies on Australia's biggest military exercise (Picture: Royal Navy).
Navy

HMS Spey takes part in Australia's biggest military exercise

HMS Spey alongside allies on Australia's biggest military exercise
HMS Spey alongside allies on Australia's biggest military exercise (Picture: Royal Navy).

HMS Spey has joined Australia's biggest military exercise, Kakadu.

The exercise takes place every two years, but it is the first time a Royal Navy warship has taken part.

The exercise, in northern Australia, focuses on the ability of the Australian Navy and partners and allies to operate and fight together.

Those taking part in the exercise spent a week in Darwin getting to know each other before heading to sea for the nine-day active phase.

Nineteen ships and submarines, nearly three dozen aircraft and more than 3,000 military personnel from countries, or ones with vital interests in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, took part.

This included Fiji, Japan, USA, France, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

Destroyers, frigates, corvettes and littoral combat ships of differing capabilities sailed in two task groups to help task groups learn to work together.

HMS Spey leading allies on Australia's biggest military exercise
HMS Spey leading allies on Australia's biggest military exercise (Picture: Royal Navy).

The ships then split into opposing task groups, playing out a scenario of both an aggressor and defensive nation.

At the start of the exercise, ships took part in gun firing and defended themselves against fast jets simulating guided missiles.

HMS Spey took her place with Royal Australian Navy patrol boat HMAS Broome and the Republic of Fiji vessel RFNS Savenaca to defend the defensive nation.

"We were asked to act as smugglers aboard a small vessel and the Australian teams would then carry out boarding actions," said Petty Officer Marc 'Bomber' Brown, HMS Spey's deputy coxswain.

"Four of Spey ship's Company were involved and we managed to initially throw them off their game. 

	A German Typhoon fighter taking part in Australia's biggest Navy exercise
Nineteen ships and submarines, nearly three dozen aircraft and more than 3,000 military personnel took part in the exercise (Picture: Royal Navy).

"The team adapted quickly to restrain us and, overall, it was a good laugh and great to interact with them as a navy."

Commander Michael Proudman, HMS Spey's Commanding Officer, said taking part in the exercise "increases collective capability" to respond to naval threats.

"There are many Commonwealth nations amongst us and this bond gives us strength, unity and common values which are the foundation of our societies," he said.

"HMS Spey has been welcomed, supported and partnered as a true friend, by a great many Commonwealth and non-Commonwealth countries alike throughout her time in the region.

"The main highlights are the cultural links and appreciation that the Ship's Company gain from our friends in this region, who have welcomed us with open arms and work together with us," he added.