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Exercise Sea Rover

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Monday, 16th February, 1970


(Statement by■the Minister for Defence, the Honourable Malcolm Fraser, M.P.)

Naval and Air Forces of six SEATO member nations

will exercise in the South China Sea between 23 March and

9 April.

' The combined maritime defence exercise, nick­

named Sea Rover, is the thirty-seventh exercise to be con­

ducted by SEATO member nations since the Organisation was

formed in 1954·

Some 40 ships from Australia, New Zealand, the

Philippines, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United

States will assemble in Manila and Sattahip, Thailand, on

23 March. Australia's contribution to the exercise will

comprise the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne, the destroyer

escorts HMASs Yarra and Derwent, the Daring class destroyer

HMAS Duchess, and the submarine HMAS Oxley. .

Four Orion aircraft of the RAAF, together with

maritime aircraft from New Zealand, Thailand, the United

Kingdom and the United States and strike aircraft from the

Philippines will also participate.

After a variety of training activities, a convoy

operation will start from the Philippines on 1 April and end

in the Gulf of Thailand seven days later. During this phase

the convoy will be subject to simulated submarine·attacks

from the Australian, United Kingdom and United States navies

and to air attacks from the Philippine Air Force fighters.

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Rear Admiral W.T. Rapp, United States, has been

appointed Exercise Director.

Rear Admiral H.D. Stevenson, Flag Officer Comm­

anding the Australian Fleet, has been appointed co-de.puty

director with Rear Admiral Supa Gajeseni of Thailand.

Further Enquiries; Director of Public Relations, Department of Defence, CANBERRA. A.C.T. 2600

Telephone Enquiries: 65 2897 (Office) 47 0060 (Home)