Sprinkling of blue at Ex KAKADU

Published on FLTLT Tritia Evans (author), ABIS Tom Gibson (photographer)

Location(s): Darwin, Northern Territory

Topic(s): Exercise KAKADU

A Royal Australian Airforce (RAAF) HAWK 127 jet aircraft simulates a missile attack on HMAS Sydney during an air warfare exercise with the participating warships of Exercise KAKADU 2014. (photo: ABIS Tom Gibson)
A Royal Australian Airforce (RAAF) HAWK 127 jet aircraft simulates a missile attack on HMAS Sydney during an air warfare exercise with the participating warships of Exercise KAKADU 2014.

Around 50 Royal Australian Air Force personnel are supporting the Royal Australian Navy and achieving great training outcomes as part of Exercise KAKADU 2016.

Australia’s premier international maritime exercise, is on in Darwin and follows on from July’s successful Exercise PITCH BLACK, Darwin locals continued to see the best of the Air Force in action, working together with more than 3,000 personnel from 19 Asia Pacific and Indian Ocean navies and air forces.

Squadron Leader Mark Williams, Commander, Task Unit Air Headquarters for the exercise, said Air Force’s participation provides a framework for both professional and personal development for all Air Force personnel. 

“Taking part in Exercise KAKADU enhances Air Force’s interoperability with our regional partners in a controlled environment managed by an Exercise Command and Control organisation,” he said. 

“KAKADU is strengthening the professional relationships with our close international neighbours through the conduct of air operations in a simulated multi-threat environment.”

Air Force fast jet and maritime patrol aircraft crews will conduct simulated attacks on both surface and subsurface vessels in the waters off northern Australia.

“International engagement is a key objective of this exercise,” Squadron Leader Williams said.

“As well as the airborne raise-train-sustain benefits for Air Force crews, ground-based subject matter expert discussions covered tactics, techniques and procedures being utilised by each nation during the conduct of maritime warfare. 

“Information from these discussions will influence future Air Force procedures, as we implement Plan Jericho, working towards becoming a smarter and more adaptable force.”

The Exercise involves 19 ships and submarines, and 18 aircraft.

Nations participating in the 13th iteration of Exercise KAKADU include Canada, France, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Singapore and the United States. Working alongside Australian Navy and Air Force assets are observers from Fiji, India, New Zealand, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Thailand, Timor Leste, Tonga and Vietnam.