New Zealand and U.S. Navies conduct operations in the Eastern Pacific

Te Kaha frigate from the Royal New Zealand Navy

Anzac-class frigate HMNZS Te Kaha (F77) and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) conducted combined operations in the eastern Pacific, Dec. 8 through Dec. 9, the U.S. Navy announced.

Te Kaha is underway for the first time since her nearly three-year frigate system upgrade.

“One of the last operational activities Te Kaha did before the starting the upgrade was working with the Nimitz Strike Group,” said Cmdr. Brock Symmons, commanding officer of Te Kaha. “It is quite fitting that one of the first activities we do post upgrade is renew those friendships and levels of interoperability with the United States Navy.”

Without breaking their respective COVID-free environments, the two ships improved interoperability through bilateral ship maneuvers and communication drills.

“The crew of Michael Murphy is honored to operate with our New Zealand allies,” said Cmdr. Scott Maloney, commanding officer of Michael Murphy. “Our navies working effectively together during a time of crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic is critical to maintaining regional stability and security throughout the region.”

The New Zealand navy and the U.S. Navy most recently operated together in the U.S. Third Fleet area of operation during RIMPAC 2020, a multinational maritime exercise that takes place in and around the Hawaiian Islands.

Michael Murphy is part of the U.S. 3rd Fleet, which leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy. U.S. 3rd Fleet constantly coordinates with U.S. 7th Fleet to plan and execute missions based on their complementary strengths to promote ongoing peace, security, and stability throughout the entire Pacific theater of operations.

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