Ships taking part in Exercise Kakadu 2018 have sailed out of Darwin to begin the sea phase of the Royal Australian Navy’s regional exercise.
Kakadu is split into three phases; a harbour phase, a Force Integration Training (FIT) and finally a free-play phase. The sea phases are designed to provide participating nations the opportunity to operate in a challenging maritime training environment.
Once outside Darwin Harbour, the ships separated into three multi-national task groups and will now undertake a range of activities, including live fire exercises and aircraft operations.
Royal Australian Navy Commodore Warfare, Commodore Ivan Ingham, said the activities are aimed at promoting greater levels of regional military cooperation, confidence and capabilities.
“Taking part in these large-scale warfare exercises at sea gives navies the opportunity to become familiar with each other’s procedures, communications and capabilities,” Commodore Ingham said.
“There are 27 nations taking part in the exercise, some for the first time, and by the end of the sea phase we should have significantly increased the levels of cooperation between our navies.”
Commodore Ingham embarked in the Japanese Ship (JS) Sazanami, taking the opportunity to interact with the ship’s crew first-hand. He was extremely impressed with the excellent organisation and efficiency of the ship, commenting on the strong sense of pride and identity on display.
JS Sazanami is in a task group with HMAS Stuart as well as with ships from Canada, New Zealand, Malaysia, Thailand, the US and India.
Kakadu will finish in mid-September with a post-exercise debrief to share lessons learned and to farewell participating nations.