The crew of HMAS Hobart used a replenishment-at-sea exercise to pass gifts to the crew of the Royal New Zealand Navy’s newest ship, HMNZS Aotearoa, in a show of camaraderie.
Navy’s guided missile destroyer rendezvoused with Aotearoa off the coast of Sydney on March 1.
A Hobart ship’s cap, ship’s coin, and packet of Tim Tam biscuits, packaged in a COVID-19 safe manner, were sent over to Aotearoa in the messenger bag.
Commanding Officer Hobart Commander Andrew Pepper said this was a gesture that highlighted the strong, long-lasting relationship between Australia and New Zealand.
Using the opportunity provided by the replenishment-at-sea equipment, the commanding officers of the two ships also exchanged letters.
While in company, the crew of the ships also conducted officer-of-the-watch manoeuvres and dry hook-ups.
As the two ships came alongside, the ships’ companies waved to each other, reflecting their sense of camaraderie as mariners, despite wearing different uniforms.
Hobart’s navigating officer Lieutenant Ben Couch said the exercise was a great experience.
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“Replenishment at sea is a difficult and dangerous evolution,” Lieutenant Couch said.
“Achieving the results we did on Aotearoa’s first attempt and Hobart’s first replenishment at sea in six months proves our ability to operate for a sustained period as part of the joint force.”
Commander Pepper said the exercise was a great example of Navy’s ability to integrate and work with like-minded, regional partners and was key to ensuring Indo-Pacific stability.
“She’s (Aotearoa) a great-looking ship and the New Zealand team was very professional,” he said.
On parting ways, Hobart proceeded north to take up station as a part of the joint exercise Tasman Shield 2021.