Australia and the US military forces have completed a high-end live-fire combat Exercise Koolendong in the Northern Territory.

Taking place from 1-11 September, Exercise Koolendong was conducted at the Mount Bundey Training Area to improve coordination between the two forces to expedite response during crises and assist partners in the Indo-Pacific region.

In the exercise, around 1,000 US Marines from Marine Rotational Force-Darwin (MRF-D) and 400 Australian soldiers conducted infantry manoeuvres with aviation, logistics and indirect fire support.

MRF-D commanding officer Colonel David Banning said: “The exercise provided the long-anticipated opportunity for the US Marines, currently deployed to Darwin, to engage with our Australian counterparts and build upon the long history of military cooperation between our two nations.”

Commander Headquarters Northern Command Group Captain Stewart Dowrie noted that this year’s exercise had the most complex scenario with highly defined interoperability objectives and increased focus on exercise design.

Group Captain Dowrie added: “Koolendong had enhanced collective readiness and prepared the ADF and US Marines extremely well in the lead-up to the MRF-D 2021 rotation and next year’s Exercise Talisman Sabre.

“It has been a real testament to the strength of the Australia-US alliance that we have been able to undertake a modified MRF-D rotation and Exercise Koolendong, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic this year.”

Recently, Australia awarded a contract to a local firm InVeris Training Solutions for a mobile weapons training simulator.

The system will help Australian defence personnel using the EF-88 assault rifle and other weapon systems to improve their skills.