Australian personnel train with US Coast Guard in Bahrain

The Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Newcastle’s crew has trained with the US Coast Guard at the Naval Support Activity in Bahrain.

During the five-day training course, which was supported by Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) agents, the personnel trained in search techniques and the use of specialist search equipment.

Newcastle’s boarding party were also able to train on techniques that will help them to discover any hidden cargo when boarding suspect vessels.

The NCIS training is also expected to help the personnel in gathering information about criminal and terrorist organisations involved in arms and drugs smuggling in the Middle Eastern region (MER).

Newcastle boarding officer lieutenant Jonathan Brunsden said: “Learning from NCIS and the US Coast Guard was a rewarding experience as they are world leaders in counter narcotics and boarding operations.

“The knowledge and practical skills gained over the past five days have given our teams increased confidence to conduct our mission successfully, professionally and safely.”

Australia contributes to the Combined Maritime Forces, which was established to focus on defeating terrorism, conduct counter-piracy missions in the waters of the Middle East, encourage regional cooperation, and promote a safe maritime environment.

Operation Manitou is the Australian Government's contribution to support international efforts to ensure an enhanced security environment in the MER.

Since mid-July, the Adelaide-class guided missile frigate has been operating in support of the mission.

Image: Maritime warfare officer lieutenant Jonathan Brunsden prepares to make a door entry during a training exercise held at the US Coast Guard Patrol Forces South West Asia Training Facility in Bahrain. Photo: courtesy of ABIS Nicolas Gonzalez.