SingaporeThe Australian Army’s 7th Brigade’s Pacific family and partners have descended on Townsville’s Field Training Area for a series of training activities under Exercise Diamond Strike 23, between 22 June and 15 July. The training will include a series of combined arms activities that will integrate different teams, capabilities and technologies from the military forces of Tonga, France, Fiji, the United States and Japan.

Commander 7th Brigade, Brigadier Michael Say, DSC, outlined the benefits the activities would deliver to regional partners. “This series of warfighting exercises enables Army to integrate with our allies, partners and Pacific family into our combined arms organisation,” said Brigadier Say. “It demonstrates that we are committed to assisting our partners not only through disaster relief, but into our security response planning as well.”

One of these key activities is Exercise Southern Jackaroo, which is a trilateral activity between the Australian Defence Force (ADF), the United States Marine Rotational Force – Darwin (MRF-D) and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF).

Japan’s Army Attaché to Australia, Colonel Yosuke Ota, said Exercise Southern Jackaroo contributed to Japan’s vision of a ‘free and open Indo-Pacific’. “Exercises such as these improve the interoperability between our nations and strengthen our deterrence and response capabilities,” said Colonel Ota. “Through Exercise Southern Jackaroo, we will deepen cooperation and coordination to enable a peaceful and stable region.”

The Commanding Officer of MRF-D, Colonel Brendan Sullivan, also noted the benefits of these activities. “Conducting synchronised fire and manoeuvre with Australian and Japanese allies increases our combined posture to respond to crisis and contingency in the region,” said Colonel Sullivan. “Exercise Southern Jackaroo is an excellent opportunity to increase lethality by rehearsing combined warfighting tactics with a focus on small-unit leadership.”

The exercise will also include lift and strike aircraft from the Royal Australian Air Force and MV-22 Ospreys from MRF-D.

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