Australia – China – New Zealand exercise completed
1 November 2012
Exercise Cooperation Spirit 2012, a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercise involving the Australian Defence Force, People’s Liberation Army and New Zealand Defence Force, has concluded with the demonstration of Australia’s emergency medical capability.
Some 54 military personnel from the three nations participated in the exercise, which aimed to enhance cooperation and coordination between Australia, China and New Zealand in responding to natural disasters in the Asia Pacific.
The Commander of the 1st Division, Major General Stuart Smith, said the exercise was a practical example of the ability of the participating nations to work together to manage and respond to emergencies and disasters.
“This exercise has demonstrated the deepening cooperation between Australia, China and New Zealand and has been a valuable opportunity to exchange lessons learned on an area of shared interest, medical support in emergencies, that has broader implications for the region.” Said Major General Smith.
Major General Smith also highlighted the value of the exercise in building mutual understanding and trust between participants.
“Over the last few days, the Australian Defence Force personnel have built closer relationships and ties with their Chinese and New Zealand counterparts and we are now better positioned to coordinate and work side by side in response to future disasters in the region.”
The Commander of 7th Brigade, Brigadier Greg Bilton, said the Australian Army had been pleased to host medical specialists and staff from the People’s Liberation Army and New Zealand for Exercise Cooperation Spirit 2012.
“Through Exercise Cooperation Spirit, the Australian Defence Force has shown that the spirit of cooperation exists between Australia, China and New Zealand in responding to major humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations in the region.” Brigadier Bilton said.
Exercise Cooperation Spirit is one of several defence activities helping to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and China in 2012.
Imagery of the exercise will be available at the Defence Image Gallery: http://images.defence.gov.au/12131589