Fifteen ships with about 2,000 Defence personnel from seven Pacific nations set sail from Darwin Harbour for the military training Exercise Kakadu 12 on Sunday.
Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Tim Barrett, AM, CSC, RAN, said Exercise Kakadu is the Royal Australian Navy’s principle multilateral exercise in Australia for 2012.
“We are excited to be hosting the participant nations for this exercise and I am sure everyone involved will take away great benefit from Exercise Kakadu,” he said.
Maritime elements from Australia, Brunei, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore and Thailand will focus on aspects of maritime warfare common to all the forces involved. Over the 19 days of exercising, from 29 August to 14 September, graduated training activities and weapons practices will be conducted, including warfare and maritime security exercises and evolutions.
The exercise is aimed at developing interoperability in maritime operations in a regional coalition environment.
“This is a valuable opportunity for the Royal Australian Navy to develop operational capability and mariner skills in a coalition environment,” Rear Admiral Barrett said.
The Royal Australian Navy is represented by the Adelaide Class Frigate HMAS Darwin, the ANZAC Class Frigates HMA Ships Perth and Warramunga, two Mine Hunter Coastals HMA Ships Gascoyne and Huon, and the Replenishment Vessel HMAS Sirius. Royal Australian Air Force Maritime Patrol Aircraft and Strike Fighter Aircraft will also take part.
The ADF has conducted a full environmental impact assessment on the region and robust measures have been put in place for participants to respect and protect the marine environment within which they will operate.
Additional information on the exercise and environmental measures is available at http://www.navy.gov.au/Exercise_KAKADU_2012
Exercise Kakadu: Lieutenant Commander Helen Ward 08 8923 8511 or 0418 103 691
Defence Media Operations: 02 6127 1999