COVID Safe visit from three foreign warships

Department of Defence

Three foreign warships will berth at Garden Island, Sydney tomorrow for a contactless, COVIDSafe port visit, ahead of regional quadrilateral exercise, Pacific Vanguard.

The ships from Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United States will enter Sydney Heads in formation around 7am, accompanied by HMAS Brisbane before berthing at Garden Island.

Foreign personnel in JS Makinami, ROKS Wang Geon and USS Rafael Peralta will be able to access a controlled quarantine area beside their ships, but will have no interaction with Australian personnel.

Deputy Commander Australian Fleet, Commodore Jonathan Earley says COVID safety is at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

“We are pleased to welcome our friends from partner nations for a contactless, COVIDSafe visit to Sydney,” Commodore Earley said.

“However, the need to abide by NSW restrictions means the crews will only experience Sydney from their ships.”

“Personnel will only step ashore to resupply their ships from the controlled quarantine zone on the wharf or for essential medical reasons, in accordance with NSW Government guidelines,” Commodore Earley said.

“While foreign personnel will not have shore leave, our Navies will interact at sea during Exercise Pacific Vanguard, which takes place off Australia’s east coast next week.”

“It is important that we continue to take advantage of multinational training opportunities during the pandemic, so we can work together as a combined force to protect our region in an increasingly complex strategic environment.”

Exercise Pacific Vanguard is a quadrilateral exercise aimed at enhancing interoperability of high-end warfighting alongside like-minded partners in the region.

The three foreign ships will return to Garden Island from 10-13 July, for another contactless, COVIDSafe visit after the exercise concludes.

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