Trilateral response to Top End “disaster”

Australian forces joined partner forces from the United States and Indonesia for a major international humanitarian aid and disaster relief exercise.

CAPTION: Military personnel from Australia, Indonesia and the United States disembark a United States Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey at RAAF Base Darwin for Exercise Crocodile Response. Story by Lieutenant Gary McHugh. Photo by Leading Seaman Leo Baumgartner.

Exercise Crocodile Response, designed to enhance interoperability, was conducted in Indonesia and Australia, concluding in the Northern Territory.

Commander Headquarters Northern Command, Royal Australian Navy Captain Mitchell Livingstone, said military representatives and government agencies shared and refined their combined disaster relief skills during complex scenarios.

“Crocodile Response is a vital training activity that allows Australia, the United States Marine Rotational Force – Darwin and Indonesia to cooperate effectively in times of natural disaster,” Captain Livingstone said.

“During this year’s exercise, the three international partners practised their combined disaster relief skills during scenarios including the loss of essential services to a fictional remote community after the impact of a tropical cyclone.

“The exercise was a real success with valuable lessons learnt by all participants, and key relationships strengthened.”

Lieutenant Colonel Deden Kurniawan, from the Indonesian National Armed Forces, said Crocodile Response was vital for the three nations.

“This activity was a place to establish communications and increase person-to-person relationships,” Lieutenant Colonel Kurniawan said.

Commanding Officer Marine Rotational Force – Darwin Colonel Brendan Sullivan said Crocodile Response was the first major exercise for his personnel.

“The exercise was an opportunity to demonstrate combined capabilities in providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief throughout the region,” Colonel Sullivan said.

“It is through exercises such as this that we forge stronger bonds, build trust and enhance our collective capabilities.”

The academic phase of the exercise took place in Bogor, Indonesia, and was followed by a command post exercise at Robertson Barracks, Darwin.

The final phase was a field training exercise at the Mount Bundey Training Area, 130km south of Darwin.






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