Australian and US forces have participated in an exercise aimed at strengthening interoperability in an emergency.
Australian Defence Force personnel and Marines from the Marine Rotational Force – Darwin (MRF-D) have completed Exercise Darrandarra — a training exercise aimed at testing capability in a crisis response scenario.
The training exercise, held at Nhulunbuy region of Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, involved the rapid deployment of Marines to a simulated security-crisis scenario, embassy reinforcement and evacuation.
The Royal Australian Air Force’s C-130Js and MRF-D’s MV-22 Ospreys provided the combined lift capability to transport Marines and the Headquarters Northern Command planning team.
North West Mobile Force compound served as the location for the simulated scenario-in-crisis facility, with exercise director Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Gosling leading the activity.
“The exercise was a tangible demonstration of the ability of Australia and the United States to swiftly respond to a crisis scenario using unique capabilities brought together by each of the forces,” LTCOL Gosling said.
The exercise director added that the training provided forces with an opportunity to enhance tactics, techniques and procedures, while also achieving mutual interoperability objectives.
Exercise controller Lieutenant Bryce Williams said the training also supported the building of a Defence connection with First Nations peoples.
“The Australian Army has been part of the Arnhem Land community for almost 100 years,” LT Williams said.
“The exercise was planned and conducted in consultation with community leaders and government stakeholders in the area.
“Having the opportunity to engage with the welcoming Nhulunbuy locals and the chance for our Marine colleagues to experience some Indigenous culture and ceremony was an equal highlight.”
Commander Headquarters Northern Command, Colonel Marcus Constable, added, “The support from community leaders, Elders and other members was key to successfully conducting the exercise. Their support is acknowledged and appreciated.
“The exercise concluded with a community event where Nhulunbuy locals were able to meet and interact with Marines and the ADF, as well as get up close with an MV-22 Osprey.”
The exercise fell on the 10-year anniversary of the United States Force Posture Initiatives, and 70 years since the establishment of the Australia, New Zealand and United States Security Treaty (ANZUS).