Federal member enjoys ADF experience

This article has photo gallery Published on Department of Defence (author), CPL Matthew Bickerton (photographer), LSIS Tom Gibson (photographer)

Location(s): Honolulu

(R-L) Australian Parliamentarian Ms Sharon Claydon, MP, chats with Commanding Officer of The 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Bassingthwaighte, DSM, and Commanding Officer 3rd Marine Regiment Colonel Carl Cooper, Jr. before leaving the Pohakuloa Training Area during her visit to Exercise Rim of the Pacific 2016 as part of the ADF Parliamentarian Program.  (photo: CPL Matthew Bickerton)
(R-L) Australian Parliamentarian Ms Sharon Claydon, MP, chats with Commanding Officer of The 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Bassingthwaighte, DSM, and Commanding Officer 3rd Marine Regiment Colonel Carl Cooper, Jr. before leaving the Pohakuloa Training Area during her visit to Exercise Rim of the Pacific 2016 as part of the ADF Parliamentarian Program.

Ms Sharon Claydon, MP, Federal Member for Newcastle, has visited ADF members in Hawaii for Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2016.

The MP linked up with Defence as part of the Australian Defence Force Parliamentary Program (ADFPP).

The program is a two way exchange in which MPs from the Canberra gallery spend time in the field with Defence personnel and Defence members are hosted in Parliament House by our serving politicians.

This exchange allows ADF members to view the operation of Parliament and the daily working routine of their hosts.

Ms Claydon was initially transferred by helicopter to HMAS Canberra for a couple of days at sea before visiting 2RAR troops at the Pohakuloa Training Area.

“This is my first close interaction with Australian Defence personnel and I have been impressed by everyone I have come in contact with,” Ms Claydon said.

“The professionalism and level of commitment by everyone at every level has been great to see".

“I really enjoyed my experience,” she said.

Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) is a biennial multinational exercise involving Pacific Nations and will be conducted from 29 Jun – 4 Aug 2016 in and around the Hawaii Islands with an element operating in the Southern California Naval Training Area.

Exercise RIMPAC is the world’s largest maritime exercise enhancing Australia’s relationship with the United States and contributing nations.

It is aimed at strengthening international maritime partnerships, enhance interoperability and improve the readiness of participating forces for a wide range of potential operations.