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Maritime exercise off New Zealand



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FRIDAY, AUGUST 10, 1979.

MARITIME EXERCISE OFF NEW ZEALAND

A large-scale maritime exercise involving ships

and aircraft of four nations, including Australia, is to

be held off New Zealand's northern approaches later this

month.

The Acting Minister for Defence, Mr J.E. McLeay,

announced this today.

Twenty three ships, two submarines and strike

and maritime reconnaissance aircraft from Australia, New

Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom will take

part in the eight-day exercise, beginning on August 17.

Named Tasmanex 79, it is the annual ANZUS

exercise sponsored by New Zealand. This year the number

of naval ships has been boosted by the inclusion of a Royal

Navy task group visiting Australia and New Zealand.

The exercise will be conducted in three phases -

the first involving weapons training and a 'work-up1 period

in the Hauraki Gulf; the second, harassment by two Australian

submarines as the Fleet heads north and divides; and the

third^ surface and air strikes as the naval groups move toward

Norfolk Island.

Ships taking part include five Australian ships

(the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne, with Skyhawk strike

aircraft and Tracker anti-submarine aircraft embarked, the

NO. 1*66/79

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guided missile destroyers HMAS Brisbane and HMAS Hobart and

the submarines HMAS Otama and HMAS O n s l o w t h r e e RNZN

frigates, three RNZN patrol boats, 10 RN ships (including

the guided missile destroyer, HMS Norfolk^ and four USN ships.

During the exercise, the Fleet will be supported

by British Royal Fleet Auxiliary tankers, Olmeda and Black

Rover, and the American tanker, USS Camdon.

The air force element will consist of four RAAF

FlllCs of No. 1 Squadron, Amberley, Qld., two RAAF Orion

long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft from No. 10

Squadron, Edinburgh, SA, and RNZAF Skyhawks and Orions.

The FlllCs and RNZAF Skyhawks, operating from

Ohakea air b a s e , will take part in anti-shipping strikes,

while the Orions will operate in the anti-submarine and

maritime reconnaissance roles.

The Orions will be based in Auckland. Two RAN

Skyhawks will also operate from Auckland as target-towing

aircraft. .

RAN units participating in Tasmanex 79 will be

under the command of the Flag Officer Commanding the Australian

Fleet, Rear Admiral D.W. Leach. RAAF units will be under the

command of the Air Officer Commanding Operational Command,

Air Vice Marshal J. Adams.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Further Inquiries: Mr Noel Tanswell 65 2999 (office hours) 48 0476 (after hours)