Exercise Kakadu 2022 has wrapped up following almost two weeks of joint military training involving approximately 3,000 personnel from 22 countries, led by Australia’s Navy and RAAF.
The Northern Australian exercise area hosted 34 aircraft from 12 to 24 September, while the air component involved the deployment of 163 fixed-wing aircraft sorties.
The exercise, which spanned over 24,500 nautical miles, included 13 anti-submarine warfare activities, 15 air warfare serials, and 17 gun-firing exercises.
More than 13,000 rounds of ammunition were expended in high-end training scenarios over the course of the exercise.
Exercise Kakadu 22 aimed to hone a range of joint operational capabilities, including humanitarian and disaster relief, seamanship and maritime law enforcement operations, and high-end maritime warfighting — including anti-air and anti-submarine warfare in a combined environment.
As part of this year’s iteration, representatives from international partners filled almost all key positions at the Exercise Control organisation for the first time, supported by Australian personnel.
The multinational exercise was capped off with an official closing reception hosted by Administrator of the Northern Territory Vicki O’Halloran.
Speaking at the ceremony, Commander of the Australian Fleet Rear Admiral Jonathan Earley said Exercise Kakadu was a “true reflection of longstanding friendships and cooperation” between Australia and its international partners.
“Exercise Kakadu is the Royal Australian Navy’s most significant international engagement activity and is vital for building relationships between participating countries,” RADM Earley said.
“I thank our international partners for their contribution to this maritime activity, which helps to reinforce the importance of peace, stability and rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific.”
RADM Earley welcomed the opportunity to resume cross-decking activities following years of disruption.
“The post-COVID environment allowed us once again to build relationships through a range of cross-decking opportunities, where sailors and officers were immersed in the way partner navies do business, creating enriching learning and development opportunities,” RADM Earley said.
He went on to thank the Top End community for hosting the exercise.
“I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the Northern Territory government and members of the Northern Territory community for their continued support of the Australian Defence Force and interest in Exercise Kakadu,” RADM Earley added.
“There is no doubt this exercise wouldn’t be possible without your ongoing support.”
The next iteration of Exercise Kakadu is slated for 2024.