USS Nimitz (CVN 68) conducts a replenishment-at-sea with the Royal New Zealand Navy frigate HMNZS Te Kaha (F77), July 2. (U.S. Navy/MC3 Ian Kinkead)

PACIFIC OCEAN - HMNZS Te Kaha (F77), an Anzac-class frigate from the Royal New Zealand Navy, conducted bilateral operations with the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group in the Western Pacific, June 30 - July 5.

The Royal New Zealand Navy provided HMNZS Te Kaha to augment U.S. 7th Fleet forces after the USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) sustained damages caused by a collision at sea. This event emphasizes the coordination and deep relationship between the two navies.

Bilateral interactions such as this with partner nations improve teamwork, readiness and the capability to respond quickly to various situations in the region, ranging from disaster relief to maritime security activities.

“The development of navy-to-navy relationships extends over many decades and it’s this history that allows for a combined approach to challenges in our region and further afield,” said Rear Adm. John Martin, Chief of the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN). “The opportunity for HMNZS Te Kaha to work with the Nimitz Strike Group and support the 7th Fleet speaks to this relationship. It demonstrates the RNZN’s operational competencies, levels of interoperability and underscores the trust between mariners and war fighters.”

U.S. Pacific Fleet ships routinely train and operate with allied and partner navies. Recent combined training exercises in the Western Pacific have included ships from Australia, Canada, France, Japan, Philippines and Republic of Korea. The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group arrived in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations June 21, and is currently deployed in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

“Over the past several days it has been incredible to witness how well the Sailors of the Nimitz Strike Group and Te Kaha have integrated into a formidable team,” said Rear Adm. Bill Byrne, commander of the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group.“Working together and being able to see our navies joint commitment to excellence has been a great honor. I look forward to future cooperative endeavors between our two countries.”

The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group consists of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), USS Princeton (CG 59), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, CSG-11 staff and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9. The deployed units from DESRON 9 include the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Howard (DDG 83), USS Shoup (DDG 86), USS Pinckney (DDG 91) and USS Kidd (DDG 100).

U.S. Navy and Royal New Zealand Navy sailors pose for a photo aboard HMNZS Te Kaha (F77), June 30. (U.S. Navy/MC3 Cole Schroeder)
USS Kidd (DDG 100) and HMNZS Te Kaha (F77) transit the waters off Guam, June 30. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Tyler Preston)
A Royal New Zealand Navy SH-2G Supersprite helicopter prepares to land aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68) during bilateral operations, July 3. (U.S. Navy/MC3 Cole Schroeder)