Minister for Defence - Australia, China and the United States start first trilateral land exercise

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Senator the Hon David Johnston

Minister for Defence

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6 October 2014

Defence cooperation between Australia, China and the United States will be highlighted during Exercise KOWARI 14, which commences in the Northern Territory today.

Minister for Defence Senator David Johnston said the inaugural environmental survival training exercise between the three countries will be based out of Larrakeyah Barracks, Darwin, with field training and survival tests in remote inland and coastal areas.

“Exercise KOWARI 14 will provide participants with an understanding of the basic principles, procedures, techniques and equipment that can enhance survival prospects in the harsh Australian environment,” he said.

“The exercise demonstrates the willingness of Australia, China and the United States to work together in practical ways.”

Ten soldiers from the Australian Army, 10 from China’s People’s Liberation Army, five from the United States Army and five from the United States Marine Corps will take part, with a further 100 military personnel providing support in roles including liaison and logistics.

The Australian Army’s 2nd Division will lead Exercise KOWARI, with the North West Mobile Force (NORFORCE) responsible for the conduct of the survival training phase.

Commander of the Exercise, Brigadier Peter Clay, said Australia was pleased to host Exercise KOWARI 14.

“The Exercise will provide some extremely challenging situations for the participants to work through, in some of the toughest terrain that Australia has to offer,” he said.

“The troops will have to depend on each other absolutely in order to succeed.”

“NORFORCE, with its deep connections to indigenous communities, and unrivalled expertise in survival skills, is the ideal unit to provide this training.”

Exercise KOWARI will conclude on 25 October.

Media note:

Opportunities for media to cover Exercise KOWARI 14 will be advised separately. Due to the remote location, pool arrangements may be put in place.

Imagery will be available through the Defence Image Library:

Media contacts:

Brad Rowswell (Minister Johnston’s Office) 0417 917 796

Rebecca Horton (Minister Johnston’s Office) 0477 389 554

Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999

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