9 September 2018
The Chinese Navy together with their Australian counterparts conducted drills off Darwin on Saturday as part of Kakadu 2018.
COMMANDER HMAS NEWCASTLE, ANITA SELLICK said"We've had five different nations all manoeuvering around in close proximity to one another. We've seen units undertaking replenishment activities together in one area. We've also undertaken some air warfare, anti-air warfare training activities with both our guns crews as well as our operations room team. And one of the core elements of exercise Kakadu is the fact that we've been able to conduct a cross deck of two of the PLA-N sailors today and two of our Australian navy sailors are across actually, right now in the Chinese ship. So they've both been able to integrate within each other's navy and learn a little bit of what life is like for them today in exercise Kakadu."
China are taking part in the military drills for the first time, joining 26 other nations including the United States, Japan, South Korea and India.
ABLE SEAMAN HMAS NEWCASTLE, TIMOTHY QUIRK said "On the bridge, I got to see pretty much got to see my counterparts on similar ranks to mine and see their position and we're lucky enough the RAS (replenishment at sea) events which you would have seen earlier, it's almost you know exactly what's going on, because it's such a similar procedure. And even though there is that language gap, every second word kind of made sense in a weird way. It was good to hang out and bridge that gap. Obviously, a lot of hand signals and a lot of pointing and laughing but that's what gets you through when two different nations are trying to establish something great between each other."
The drills will wrap up on September 14.