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Preparations underway for Exercise Koolendong 2013

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Department of Defence Media Release


Media Release

24 August 2013

Preparations underway for Exercise Koolendong 2013

Following the successful completion of Exercise Talisman Saber 2013, around 1000 Australian Army and United States Marine Corps personnel are preparing to take part in Exercise Koolendong 2013, which will be conducted at the Bradshaw Field Training Area south-west of Darwin.

The Bradshaw Field Training Area is approximately 8710 square kilometres in size, and is located around 330 kilometres southwest of Darwin by air.

Exercise Koolendong 2013 was announced by the Prime Minister, the Minister for Defence, and the Minister for Defence Science and Personnel on 14 June 2013.

Exercise Koolendong will start on 28 August and conclude on 7 September 2013.

Around 700 Marine Corps personnel involved in Exercise Koolendong 2013 will be drawn from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit based in Okinawa, Japan and around 150 will be drawn from the Marines currently on a six month rotation in Darwin.

Around 150 Australian Army participants in Exercise Koolendong 2013 will be drawn from the 5th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment based at Robertson Barracks in Darwin.

Exercise Koolendong 2013 provides an opportunity for United States and Australian personnel to conduct a battalion-sized live-fire exercise in a remote and austere training environment.

Operating from the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group, the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit will deploy a range of capabilities in support of the exercise including MV-22 Ospreys; CH-53 Super Stallions; UH-1Y Hueys; and AV-8B Harriers. KC-130 Hercules may

also provide external support, and FA/18D Hornets currently at RAAF Tindal for Exercise Southern Frontier will also participate. Ground vehicles will include 7 ton trucks, Humvees, light armoured vehicles and towed artillery.

The exercise will also help develop the United States Marine Corps’ knowledge of the Bradshaw Field Training Area for use by future Marine Corps six month rotations.

The United States Marine Corps six month rotations through northern Australia will increase in size to around 1150 personnel from 2014, and will utilise Bradshaw as an exercise area.

Other Australian Defence facilities, including RAAF Base Tindal and RAAF Base Darwin, will provide limited support to the exercise.

Exercise Koolendong 2013 will be conducted in accordance with Defence’s strict environmental requirements.

Media contacts:

Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999

Regional Manager Public Affairs NT/K: Gemma Haines (08) 8923 5741 or 0457 838 937

US Marine Corps: 1st Lieutenant Savannah Moyer (08) 8925 3255 or 0447 400 517