A two-week military field exercise has been completed this week, consisting of over 700 Australian Defence Force, United States Marine Rotational Force-Darwin and Japan Self Defense Force soldiers and marines.
Exercise Southern Jackaroo provided soldiers and marines the opportunity to complete urban assault training, engineering clearances, artillery fire missions and live-fire activities, whilst learning additional skills from their international partners.
Australian Army 7th Brigade Commander Brigadier Andrew Hocking said the exercise incorporated complex blank and live-fire scenarios using military assets from all three nations.
“The exercises included US Marine Corps MV-22 Ospreys, Japanese FH-70 and Australian M777 Howitzer artillery, and Australian armoured personnel carriers supporting all personnel,” Brigadier Hocking said.
“This important trilateral training enables our Defence forces to understand how one another operate so we can effectively work together in the future.
“Warfare is a human pursuit, so to have individuals who know each other and trust each other, is a great advantage to our capabilities and to the security of the region.”
Captain Doyle Beaudequin from the Australian Army’s, 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, said the exercise tested the three nation’s ability to coordinate and adapt their logistical, administrative and communications systems.
“Training with United States marines and Japanese soldiers is really important. If we have to conduct operations beside them in the future, we now know what to expect and are better prepared,” Captain Beaudequin said.
Exercise Southern Jackaroo also proved a historic moment for the Japan Ground Self Defense Force, who successfully fired two FH-70 howitzers out to 25 kilometres while in Australia.
Australia, Japan and the United States maintain a shared interest in the peace, security and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region. The exercise demonstrates the commitment to increasing interoperability and deepening the sophistication of trilateral exercises.