ADF exercises rapid deployment to North West Australia

19 September 2015 | Media Release

About 1000 Australian Defence Force personnel have started deploying under Exercise NORTHERN SHIELD 2015 to Exmouth, North Western Australia, at short notice to test security response arrangements.

Exercise NORTHERN SHIELD is an Australian Defence Force (ADF) training activity where high-readiness forces deploy quickly to North Western Australia in response to a simulated security threat. 

The exercise will see members of the Army and Air Force rapidly deploy to the region around Learmonth and Exmouth to counter a fictitious force posing a threat to Australia’s national security.

Acting Chief of Joint Operations, Major General Shane Caughey, said the exercise incorporates force preparation activities, Special Forces activities, parachuting, land force manoeuvre, air mobile operations and maritime activities.
“Exercise NORTHERN SHIELD 2015 demonstrates the ADF’s capacity to project forces in the north west should the need arise to protect the population, resources and infrastructure,” Major General Caughey said.
“We have worked hard to minimise any disruption to the local community, however there will be some extra aircraft noise and Defence activity on the roads for a short time and I’d like to thank the people of Learmonth and Exmouth for their support.”

Protecting Australia’s North West is a key priority for Defence. Smaller scale counter terrorism exercises are routinely held in the region and surveillance measures are in place to detect potential threats.

Exercise NORTHERN SHIELD builds on these security measures and the Exercise Director, Commodore Phil Spedding, says the exercise follows detailed discussions between the ADF, other Government agencies as well as local mining and resources companies.

“The lessons learned from this activity will be put to good use with Exercise NORTHERN SHIELD set to become an annual training activity,” CDRE Spedding said.

 “NORTHERN SHIELD is designed to make sure we can all work together to be ready to respond to any contingencies in the region and provide an agile, decisive and effective deterrent to any future challenges.”

The exercise will incorporate multiple Navy, Army and Air Force platforms including Armed Reconnaissance (Tiger) Helicopters from the Australian Army and C-17A Globemaster III,
C-130J Hercules, KC-30A Multi Role Transport Tanker; AP-3C Orion, Beechcraft King Air KA350, and F/A-18A/B Hornet from the Royal Australian Air Force.

Royal Australian Navy vessels are not actively involved in this phase of the exercise but major fleet units have been utilised for simulated maritime security tasks in the lead up to the activity.

Media note:
Imagery will be available on the Defence Image Gallery tomorrow. Vision will also be fed to the Parliamentary Media Gallery early tomorrow afternoon.

Media contact:
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999

Issued by Ministerial and Executive Coordination and Communication,
Department of Defence,
Canberra, ACT
Phone: 02 6127 1999 Fax: 02 6265 6946

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