An aerial view of the Australian frigate HMAS Warramunga in the South China Sea. Photo: Petty Officer Leo Baumgartner/RAN.

Warships from Australia, the United States and Japan sailed through the South China Sea together earlier this year. The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) frigate HMAS Warramunga operated alongside US Navy (USN) destroyer USS John Finn and Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) USS Gabrielle Giffords and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) destroyer JS Sazanami.

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It enabled them to work on interoperability between the three navies in planning and conducting combined operations, including cooperative maritime manoeuvres and flying ops. For the Warramunga, which had departed from Fleet Base East, Sydney, in late January, it was all part of the RAN’s first regional presence deployment for 2024.

This will see the Anzac Class warship conduct a series of training, exercises and other engagements with Australia’s regional partners at sea and visiting regional ports


Japanese destroyer JS Sazanami leads the way, with USS Gabrielle Giffords, HMAS Warramunga and then USS John Finn following on behind.
Photo: Petty Officer Leo Baumgartner/RAN.


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