An MV-22 Osprey with VMM-265 loads Marine Rotational Force Darwin Marines in preparation for Exercise Koolendong - photo USMC
27 August 2013 naval-technology.com
The US Marine Corps (USMC) and Australian Army are preparing to take part in Exercise Koolendong 2013, which is scheduled to begin on 28 August 2013.
Conducted at the Bradshaw Field Training Area south-west of Darwin, the exercise follows the successful completion of Exercise Talisman Saber 2013 and will conclude on 7 September.
During the drill, the US and Australian personnel will conduct a battalion-sized live-fire exercise in a remote training environment.
The drill will involve around 700 Marine Corps personnel from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit based in Okinawa, Japan, as well as approximately 150 from the Marines currently on a six-month rotation in Darwin.
Around 150 Australian Army from the 5th Battalion in The Royal Australian Regiment based at Robertson Barracks in Darwin will also take part in the exercise.
Conducted in accordance with the defence's strict environmental requirements, the Exercise Koolendong 2013 has been designed to help develop the USMC's knowledge of the Bradshaw Field Training Area for future Marine Corps six-month rotations use.
The manoeuvre will also see participation of ground vehicles including 7t trucks, Humvees, light armoured vehicles and towed artillery as well as Lockheed Martin-built KC-130 Hercules aircraft for external support.
The US 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, which operates from the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group, will provide a range of capabilities in support of the exercise, which includes Bell Boeing-developed MV-22 Osprey aircraft, Sikorsky-built CH-53 Super Stallions, Bell UH-1Y Huey helicopters and McDonnell Douglas-manufactured AV-8B Harrier aircraft.
Additionally, the exercise will involve McDonnell Douglas-developed FA/18D Hornets, which are currently based at the RAAF Tindal, for the Exercise Southern Frontier.