Over 1,200 military personnel from the Asia Pacific and Indian Ocean regions have completed collaborative, tactical warfare planning during the first week of the Royal Australian Navy’s largest maritime exercise, KAKADU 2014.
From 25 – 29 August 2014, the Harbour Phase of KAKADU 2014 saw regional navies work side by side in Darwin to plan major warfare serials for the next sea phases of the exercise.
Exercise Director, Captain Heath Robertson, said the deliberate planning and briefings between ships, aircraft and staff focussed on high-end warfare.
“These exercises are essential so we can improve our ability to work together when called on in times of need,” Captain Robertson said.
“Continued improvement of shared skills, understanding and ultimately interoperability ensures safety and efficiency in real time operations.
“The more we exercise together the better we become at understating how each other work and appreciate different cultures all in the interests of regional security.
“It’s a good quality exercise rich in complex warfare, and we are making the most of the experience with so many participating assets.”
On Sunday 31 August the eight participating warships from Australia, Japan, Philippines and Pakistan will sail from Darwin to conduct air defence, gunnery, simulated submarine warfare, flying operations and boardings in the North Australian Exercise Area.
Royal Australian Navy ships HMAS Sydney and HMAS Stuart will lead the exercise with observers embarked from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Malaysia, Republic of Korea and Thailand.
Observers from Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu will embark Royal Australian Navy Armidale Class Patrol Boats to exchange expertise.
The Harbour Phase of the exercise also entailed community visits by Royal Australian Navy helicopters, cultural exchange activities such as a visit to a local wildlife park and an Inter-Nation sports day.
KAKADU 2014 is occurring 25 August – 12 September 2014. It is a biennial exercise, now in its 23rd iteration.