India visit delights crew of HMAS Anzac
[Royal Australian Navy News, 30 March 2005]
By LEUT Rachel Irving and SMNET Aaron Tarbotton
Fifteen Royal Australian Naval and Indian Naval officers and sailors swapped ships for a few hours when HMAS Anzac left India last week in company with an Indian frigate. Departing Mormugao Port in Goa on India's west coast, HMAS Anzac conducted a short passage with INS Tabar, a Talwar class guided missile frigate. The latter's RHIBs (Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boats) were used to transfer personnel, before the ships spent several hours conducting Officer Of the Watch (OOW) manoeuvres, flying exercises and RAS replenishment at sea approaches. SMNET Aaron Tarbotton was one of the 15 HMAS Anzac members to cross to INS Tabar and described his experience as very interesting. "When we arrived onboard, we were welcomed by the ship's senior officers and taken into the Operations Room to await the CO. On his arrival, we were presented with the ballcap of INS Tabar and told of the day's events," SMN Tarbotton said. The Russian-built INS Tabar was commissioned last April and consequently the visitors found the Indian ship to be very clean & modern though as SMN Tarbotton found out there were some differences. "They are only allowed to smoke in the heads and not outside and they have civilians onboard whose sole job it is to clean." He added jokingly that perhaps this was something the RAN could consider.
Lunch was a special event for the visitors who were given the chance to sample Indian delicacies. "While we ate, we spoke with a number of sailors who seemed enthralled by what we had to say. I was surprised at the amount of English they knew, which made conversation very easy. The crew were very keen to talk to us and their hospitality was excellent. Our meal was nothing short of amazing and we were not allowed to leave until seconds and thirds were had by all. I'm very glad to have been given the opportunity to cross deck and will definitely volunteer for the next one, so I can again experience the cultural difference of another country," SMN Tarbotton said. At the completion of the RAS approaches, the visitors of both ships were transferred back to their respective vessels by HMAS Anzac's Seahawk helicopter, called Syndrome. On completion of the last personnel transfer, the Russian-built INS Tabar headed home to Mumbai while HMAS Anzac continued on her journey, headed next for Egypt as part of her Northern Trident deployment.