Welcoming a familiar voice abroad

Department of Defence

Australians love travelling the world and connecting with other Australians while away, and Royal Australian Navy (RAN) members are no different.

While at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickham, Hawaii, the ship’s company of HMAS Stuart was pleased to hear a familiar Australian accent when welcoming aboard a senior officer during their recent Pacific deployment last month.

Rear Admiral Darren Grogan is embedded with the United States Navy as the United States Pacific Fleet Deputy Director Maritime Operations.

He came aboard to congratulate HMAS Stuart’s ship’s company on their successful mission with United States Ships Preble and Jack H Lucas before the Anzac-class frigate departed for its return journey to Australia.

Stuart supported the Flight Test Aegis Weapon System 32 (FTM-32) test conducted by the United States Missile Defense Agency and the United States Navy, where Preble intercepted an aerial target vehicle launched from Kauai, to simulate a medium-range ballistic missile.

Rear Admiral Grogan spoke with Stuart’s officers about the rapidly evolving strategic environment, the ‘maritime awakening’ occurring in Australia and key policies developed over the last decade.

He explained how the changing Indo-Pacific strategic environment is making Australia an even more crucial partner for the US, with AUKUS demonstrating how the US is investing in its relationship with Australia, and in the RAN’s ability to work with the US Navy as an embedded and interchangeable part of their fleet.

This will continue to be the focus of combined exercises, proving Australian ships can embed and integrate into a coalition task group.

“HMAS Stuart not only participated but provided critical support and positively influenced the entire mission,” Rear Admiral Grogan said.

He also linked the significance of the FTM-32 test to Australia’s developing technology and how it will provide unique capabilities to its allies.

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