The reorganised Royal Australian Navy at war in Vietnam

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  • #10167
    Malcolm Lewis
    Participant

    Steven Paget’s article in the Mariner’s Mirror August 2015 pages 283-303, is a most interesting account of the challenges faced by the RAN in providing a destroyer to support the United States Navy in the Vietnam War 1967-1971. The problems arose with interoperability with both the American built RAN Charles Adams Class DDGs and more especially the British designed but Australian built Daring ‘Vendetta’, with the US Navy and its fleet logistics and procedures.
    Much had to be learned quickly by both navies to achieve successful co-operation.
    My question is, have there been gains applied from this experience in subsequent inter-navy co-operative situations such as NATO, the Gulf War and anti-pirate patrols off Somalia today?
    Malcolm Lewis

    #10223
    Frank Scott
    Participant

    Worth mentioning that the RAN had operated with the USN before Vietnam. Most notably, in the Second World War HMAS Canberra was damaged beyond repair & sunk at the Battle of Savo Island in August 1942 while operating with the USN, and a new American cruiser was named USS Canberra in her honour. Indeed until the end of the war RAN cruisers were integrated into the USN task group structure in the Pacific.

    By the 1960s in NATO the ships of the USN Atlantic & Mediterranean Fleets were well used to operating with warships of other nations, and vice versa, even with aircraft-carriers. Tankers could and did refuel any warship, but lack of standardisation meant that spares and ammunition supply tended to remain national, so the other blue water navies had to have their own fleet train.

    Frank Scott

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