Defence has wrapped up an important annual training exercise with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), which saw the Australian Defence Force’s rapid deployment exercise in the Cape York region of north Queensland.
Conducted in the vicinity of the township of Weipa between 14 and 20 October, Northern Shield 17 (NS17) drew Army and Air Force personnel from across Australia at short notice to support the Australian government with the evacuation of civilians from a fictitious country.
Under the command of the Brisbane-based Deployable Joint Force Headquarters, ADF personnel worked with DFAT as part of a Joint Task Force.
Chief of Joint Operations Vice Admiral David Johnston said Northern Shield is an important annual training activity for the ADF.
"This year, the exercise involved 400 ADF personnel working alongside DFAT officers in a series of realistic training scenarios," VADM Johnston said.
"NS17 demonstrated the ADF is a highly capable and agile force able to deploy to any location across the continent and beyond, when called on by government.
"The success of any inter-agency operation lies with local, state and federal authorities as well as the local community, the level of co-operation between which for NS17 was exemplary."
NS17 was the third rapid-deployment exercise to be conducted in northern Australia, with previous exercises in the vicinity of Learmonth and Broome/Derby in the Kimberley and Pilbara regions of Western Australia, respectively.