NZDF Takes Part in Australia’s Premier Maritime Exercise
31 August 2018
The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has sent Royal New Zealand Navy frigate Te Mana to lead a multinational group of ships to take part in Australia’s premier maritime exercise over the next two weeks.
Exercise Kakadu, which will be held in Australia’s Northern Territory from 31 August to 14 September, is the Royal Australian Navy’s largest international engagement activity. Held every two years, the exercise is designed to enhance the ability of maritime forces to operate in a coalition environment.
More than 3000 personnel, 23 ships, 21 aircraft and a submarine from 27 Asia-Pacific countries are taking part in this year’s exercise, which will include live-firing exercises, submarine detection and deterrence and anti-air warfare operations.
Participating nations include China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Tonga and the United States.
Commodore Tony Millar, the Maritime Component Commander, said the exercise provided an opportunity to enhance regional security.
“Multinational maritime warfare activities such as Exercise Kakadu promote greater levels of cooperation and understanding between militaries, and allows us to effectively operate together should the need arise,” Commodore Millar said.
“The exercise has also come at a propitious time, since both New Zealand and Australia have signalled ongoing commitments to the Pacific region.”
Commander Lisa Hunn, the Commanding Officer of Te Mana, said the exercise would provide the frigate’s 178-strong crew an opportunity to train for the delivery of maritime security and improve their ability to operate with other regional maritime forces.
“The activities include harbour and force integration training and high-end warfare in a complex environment, which will enhance maritime war-fighting capabilities, as well as general mariner skills,” Commander Hunn said.
Te Mana left for a six-month deployment in June to conduct training and defence engagement activities in the Asia-Pacific region until early November.