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ADF, Marines complete live-firing exercise

ADF, Marines complete live-firing exercise
Department of Defence | Photo: Corporal Rodrigo Villablanca

Over 2,000 troops have wrapped up warfighting exercises at the Bradshaw Field Training Area.

Over 2,000 troops have wrapped up warfighting exercises at the Bradshaw Field Training Area.

Australian Defence Force personnel and the Marine Rotational Force-Darwin (MRF-D) completed Exercise Koolendong — a combined command construct operation in a fictitious contested area, based out of Bradshaw Field Training Area in the Northern Territory.

Personnel were tasked with destroying the fictitious enemy and handing over security responsibility to local forces, before redeploying to Darwin Island.


The exercise presented the partner nations with an opportunity to rehearse expeditionary bilateral, joint warfighting in a simulated archipelagic region laid over the 6,600-square-kilometre location.

Commander 1st Brigade Brigadier Ash Collingburn, who led the exercise, said forces demonstrated their abilities to rapidly responded to crises in the region.

“Exercise Koolendong was the culminating activity of MRF-D 2021 and a key training event for the Australian Army’s 1st Brigade in enhancing security cooperation between USMC and the ADF through combined-arms live fire,” BRIG Collinburn said.

“It is a tangible demonstration of ADF and USMC capability to respond to a crisis in the region as a coalition force land component with an integrated coalition command structure.”

Commanding Officer MRF-D Colonel David Banning lauded the partner nations’ interoperability skills.

“The ability of MRF-D and the ADF to conduct this exercise during a pandemic is testament to the strength of our partnership,” Col Banning said.

“We’ve brought together all the assets of a marine air-ground task force and an equivalent ADF force, including more than 2,000 troops, 500 vehicles and 20 airframes.”

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the signing of the ANZUS Treaty between Australia, New Zealand, and the US.

“The Australia-US Alliance has never been more important as we look ahead to our shared strategic challenges in the region,” Col Banning added. 

[Related: ADF, US Marines gear up for Exercise Koolendong]

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