Touching down at Mount Bundey, Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) General Angus Campbell visited soldiers from Australia, Japan and the US participating in Exercise Southern Jackaroo.

General Campbell watched sappers conduct an urban breaching serial before fielding questions from 5 Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, 1 Combat Engineer Regiment and Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers.

Topics ranged from training area upgrades, the importance of military service, tough training, and building relationships during the unique training opportunity. 

“The whole point of exercises like these is to build interoperability and friendship,” General Campbell said. 

“If you can work and train together here, on this challenging piece of land, you can do it anywhere.” 

JGSDF soldiers were particularly interested in CDF’s culinary preferences, asking about his favourite Japanese foods and drinks: sashimi and saki. 

Accompanied by Commander 1 Brigade Brigadier Ash Collingburn and Commanding Officer of the Marine Rotational Force - Darwin Colonel David Banning, the CDF also toured the gun line, acting number six on the M777, and observed sniper live-fire activity. 

103 Battery Bravo detachment commander Bombardier Eduardo Osborne received a coin from the CDF and said his team appreciated the visit. 

“It’s fun to meet a high ranking officer that you’d usually only see on the news. To have him on the gun was pretty cool,” Bombardier Osborne said. 

Japanese sniper Staff Sergeant Akito Yagi also received a coin, and was encouraged by General Campbell to share as much specialist knowledge with his Australian and US counterparts during the exercise as possible. 

See all images of Exercise Southern Jackaroo on the Defence News Gallery