Australia, China and the US have started an annual trilateral military exercise, KOWARI, in North Queensland, Australia.

Originally beginning in 2014, Exercise KOWARI is now in its sixth edition. This is the third time the Australian Army’s 51st Battalion, Far North Queensland Regiment (51 FNQR) is hosting the exercise.

The survival training exercise involves a series of training activities such as hiking, sea kayaking, mountaineering and canyoneering.

Running from 28 August until 5 September, the exercise will help build mutual understanding and trust among personnel belonging to the militaries of the three participating countries.

Australian Army chief lieutenant general Rick Burr said: “The Australian Army is committed to working cooperatively with our international partners.

“Exercise KOWARI will enable important people-to-people connections between counterparts as they work together to complete a series of physically and mentally challenging training activities.

“By holding exercises such as KOWARI, we promote friendship and cooperation between Australia, the US and China, enhancing the security of our region.”

During the exercise, forces are provided training in the basic principles, techniques and equipment to improve survival prospects in challenging conditions.

Last year’s iteration of exercise KOWARI saw soldiers and marines from the Australian Army, the Chinese Marine Corps, the US Army and the US Marine Corps participate in joint exercises in Cairns, Australia.

Exercise KOWARI 2019 closely follows Hari’i Hamutuk multilateral exercise that began recently in Timor-Leste.

More than 220 troops are taking part in the four-nation Hari’i Hamutuk exercise. Australia, the US, Timor-Leste, and Japan are the participating countries.

The exercise will involve construction and maintenance projects to boost Timor-Leste’s defence capability.