Past meets future as AUTONOMOUS WARRIOR begins at Jervis Bay

Published on CMDR Fenn Kemp (author), ABIS Kieran Dempsey (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Creswell, Jervis Bay

Topic(s): Exercise AUTONOMOUS WARRIOR

Uncle Paul McLeod (right) from the Doonooch dance troupe performs the Welcome to Country at the opening ceremony of Exercise AUTONOMOUS WARRIOR 2018 at HMAS Creswell, Jervis Bay. (photo: ABIS Kieran Dempsey)
Uncle Paul McLeod (right) from the Doonooch dance troupe performs the Welcome to Country at the opening ceremony of Exercise AUTONOMOUS WARRIOR 2018 at HMAS Creswell, Jervis Bay.

An indigenous smoking ceremony has marked the official start of a challenging exercise, designed to showcase a growing Navy capability on the New South Wales South Coast.

Exercise AUTONOMOUS WARRIOR 2018 is designed to explore the potential of robotic, autonomous and uninhabited systems, in support of Defence operations in coastal environments.

Commodore Steve Hughes is the Director of Navy’s Littoral operations and the Navy sponsor for AUTONOMOUS WARRIOR 2018.

“The Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony exemplifies how this exercise is bringing the past and future together, while respecting the traditional custodians of the land and water that we are charged to protect for future generations.” CDRE Hughes said.

“All of us are very much looking forward to hosting our industry, military and science partners and witnessing how autonomous and artificial intelligence technologies can help us maintain a winning edge across the spectrum of maritime, land and air operations, from surveillance to high end warfare.”

The coming fortnight will see a series of exhibits and trials of autonomous vehicles. It’s an opportunity for industry to showcase its latest technology and capabilities.

One of the highlights is the ‘Autonomy Strategic Challenge’ (also known as ‘The Wizard of Aus’). It will feature a set of multi-national scientific trials, as both Navy and Army exercise their in-service autonomous and unmanned assets.

Held under the auspices of the ‘Five Eyes’ Technical Cooperation Program, Exercise AUTONOMOUS WARRIOR 2018 is being led by Defence Science and Technology (DST) and supported by the Royal Australian Navy.

AUTONOMOUS WARRIOR will run from 5 to 23 November at HMAS Creswell and surrounding Defence-controlled areas in Jervis Bay, Australian Capital Territory.