Australia, China and the US have started the first trilateral land exercise, Kowari 14, in the Northern Territory, strengthening defence cooperation between the three countries.

Australia Defence Minister Senator David Johnston said the environmental survival training exercise will be conducted out of Larrakeyah Barracks, Darwin, with field training and survival tests in remote inland and coastal areas.

Johnston said: "Exercise Kowari 14 will provide participants with an understanding of the basic principles, procedures, techniques and equipment that can enhance survival prospects in the harsh Australian environment.

"The exercise will provide some extremely challenging situations for the participants."

"The exercise demonstrates the willingness of Australia, China and the US to work together in practical ways."

Led by the Australian Army‘s 2nd Division, the exercise will involve ten Australian Army soldiers, ten from China’s People’s Liberation Army, five from the US Army and five from the US Marine Corps.

In addition, a further 100 military personnel will provide support in liaison and logistics roles.

The North West Mobile Force (NORFORCE) will be responsible for the conduct of the survival training phase.

Exercise commander brigadier Peter Clay said: "The exercise will provide some extremely challenging situations for the participants to work through, in some of the toughest terrain that Australia has to offer.

"The troops will have to depend on each other absolutely in order to succeed."

Exercise Kowari 14 is scheduled to conclude on 25 October.

Defence Technology