Personnel from HMAS Albatross, including a MH-60R Seahawk helicopter from 725 Squadron and a MRH-90 Helicopter from 808 Squadron have taken part in Exercise Kakadu.
Exercise Kakadu is a joint exercise hosted by the Royal Australian Navy and supported by the Royal Australian Air Force, held biennially.
In 2018 it included 23 ships, 21 aircraft, a submarine and more than 3000 personnel from 27 nations, and delivered a range of activities both ashore in Darwin and at sea.
The aim of Exercise Kakadu was to generate active and effective security and humanitarian partnerships, with all nations emerging from the coming weeks more capable, united and focused on safeguarding the region.
Australia’s largest maritime exercise was an intensive two weeks of realistic and challenging engagements from the air and the sea.
This was the 14th iteration of Exercise Kakadu, having begun in 1993 and most recently conducted in 2016.
Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead said the success of Exercise Kakadu was thanks to the significant efforts made by all involved.
“When Kakadu 2018 began, I mentioned that this was the chance to improve confidence, cooperation and capability,” Fleet Commander said.
“I am delighted to report that this has been achieved. The success of Exercise Kakadu is due to the combined efforts of those members at sea and in the air who carried out their mission effectively and safely.”
HMA Ships Newcastle, Stuart, Melbourne, Sirius, Glenelg and Maitland were among 23 ships from 28 nations who participated in a wide range of activities including replenishments at sea, air defence exercises and gunnery. Air operations were also intensive with 21 aircraft joining the fleet for exercises in anti-submarine surface warfare training.
A feature of Exercise Kakadu 2018 has been the presence of so many diverse and influential maritime nations including China, as well as India and Sri Lanka who all sent ships for the first time.
Navy’s Armidale Class Patrol Boats were also been busy working with partners from the south-west Pacific. Fiji and Tonga attended with their own vessels with observers from several others including Timor Leste and Tuvalu.
Exercise Kakadu 2018 – fast facts
- A total of 23 Fleet units, 21 aircraft, and more than 3000 personnel participated in Exercise Kakadu 2018.
- They have spent 3500 hours at sea
- Covered 42,000 nautical miles (77,784km)
- Taken part in 103 activities
- Spent 54 hours hunting submarines
- Participated in 11 live gunnery serials
- Air assets have spent 140 hours on air surveillance operations
- Used more than 1000 rounds of large calibre ammunition
- Used more than 4500 rounds of small arms ammunition
- Eaten 80,000 meals