Hundreds of Australian soldiers, troops from the Japanese Ground Self Defence Force (JGSDF) and US Marines have started a major warfighting exercise at Queensland’s Shoalwater Bay Training Area.
Running until the 27th of May, Exercise Southern Jackaroo is a trilateral training activity designed to enhance warfighting interoperability, strengthen international relationships and improve combat readiness.
Commander of the 7th Brigade Brigadier Michael Say said the combined-arms activity would feature infantry live-fire and tank integration.
“Exercise Southern Jackaroo is a great example of how our regional partners integrate with Australian forces to conduct realistic combat-team training for combat operations,” Brigadier Say said.
“Our combined capability to coordinate ground forces demonstrates adaptability and interoperability that can be applied to warfighting operations or disaster relief.”
Marine Rotational Force Darwin (MRF-D) Commanding Officer Colonel Christopher Steele said Southern Jackaroo would build on past activities and enhance collective strength.
“MRF-D is excited to continue the outstanding tradition of Southern Jackaroo alongside our trusted Australian and Japanese allies,” Colonel Steele said.
“We are looking forward to enhancing our combined interoperability and developing our relationships.”
JGSDF Training Unit Commander Lieutenant Colonel Ryozo Asano said it was a great honour to have the opportunity to participate in a trilateral exercise between Japan, the United States and Australia.
“Considering the current world situation, the trilateral exercise is very significant, and it is very useful for improving the capability of units and all soldiers,” Lieutenant Colonel Asano said.
Exercise Southern Jackaroo will feature around 400 soldiers from the Australian Defence Force (ADF), 190 from the MRF-D and 70 from the JGSDF.
Up to 2200 MRF-D personnel will conduct combined training with the ADF this year, with Exercise Southern Jackaroo forming part of a series of warfighter training activities.