US Marines with Marine Rotational Force – Darwin (MRF-D), soldiers from the Australian Army’s 1st Brigade and soldiers with the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) began Exercise Southern Jackaroo 2021 in Northern Territory today with a traditional welcome-to-country ceremony.
CAPTION: Australian and Japanese soldiers and US Marines participate in a smoking ceremony Robertson Barracks to kick-start Exercise Southern Jackaroo. Story by Captain Thomas deVries, MRF-D. Photo by Barrie Collins, for CONTACT.
Exercise Southern Jackaroo will involve 410 soldiers from Australia’s 1st Brigade, 300 US Marines and 63 troops from the Japan Ground Self Defence Force.
The field training exercise will integrate Australian and Japanese elements with the Marine Air-Ground Task Force, increasing the capacity to mutually support one another during combined operations.
Three main activities will occur during the training exercise from 15 to 25 June.
There will be a table-top exercise where key leaders and planners will receive a mission and then wargame to assess their plan to accomplish the mission.
Marines will conduct sniper training and establish an artillery battery of M777 Howitzers, 155mm cannons to provide indirect fire support for infantry units.
Finally, there will be a live-fire field training exercise that will integrate infantry and artillery units of the US Marines, Australian Army, and Japanese Ground Self Defence Force.
The MRF-D Ground Combat Element is comprised of a reinforced infantry battalion, including 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment; an artillery battery from 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment; and a detachment from 1st Combat Engineer Battalion.
Other capabilities of MRF-D, such as logistics and aviation elements, will support the live-fire training in Mount Bundy Training Area.