The Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) newest amphibious capability is participating in Exercise Sea Raider onboard the Australian Royal Navy’s (RAN) HMAS Canberra, in a bid to strengthen the force ahead of the upcoming cyclone season.
Conducted by the Deployable Joint Force Headquarters, the exercise involves 1,400 troops, as well as medium-lift helicopters, landing craft and small boats, trucks, troop carriers, and other vehicles.
The exercise, which is being carried out under command of major general Stuart Smith, is also supported by the RAN frigate HMAS Stuart, Air Force assets and Commando forces, in addition to other government agencies.
The ADF collaborates with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) as the lead agency for Australian Government responses to overseas emergencies.
According to Smith, the exercise is aimed to support the ADF and DFAT to join forces efficiently and cooperatively during a crisis.
Smith said: "This amphibious force has been tested in scenarios that reflect tasks the Australian Government may direct in response to local and regional emergencies."
Amphibious Task Force commander captain Jay Bannister said: "We have now come to the third and most testing phase of the Sea Series – Exercise Sea Raider.
"The exercise is a rehearsal for future humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions, as well as civilian evacuations across a broad landscape with support from colleagues from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The Exercise Sea Raider is scheduled to conclude in early October.
Recently, the Amphibious Ready Element participated in Exercise Sea Explorer onboard HMAS Canberra.
The new military capability performed the second of the sea series of exercises under command of the Amphibious Task Group Headquarters.
Image: 2nd Royal Australian Regiment soldiers ride the aircraft lift from the Troop Assembly Area to the flight deck onboard HMAS Canberra during Sea Series 2015. Photo: courtesy of LSIS Helen Frank / Commonwealth of Australia.