Australian soldiers are conducting a trilateral environmental survival training exercise with their counterparts from the US and China at Larrakeyah Barracks, Darwin, in Northern Territory.
Code-named Kowari 15, the exercise aims to build cooperation, friendship, and trust between the three nations, and involves 30 soldiers and marines.
Participants are conducting team building activities around Darwin before deploying to an area near Daly River for the survival and field phases of the training.
Deputy commander brigadier of the 2nd Division Damian Cantwell said the three-week activity will see the soldiers undergoing specialist training from the North West Mobile Force (NORFORCE), the army’s survival experts, followed by a survival exercise to validate their skills.
Cantwell said: "Despite the obvious cultural and language differences, they will work together in order to survive in arduous conditions.
"Our experience last year was that the participants quickly built strong bonds of trust and friendship in their mixed teams, and coped amazingly well with conditions that are hot, dry, and very challenging.
"Our countries already cooperate at a number of levels through trade, regional humanitarian projects and joint naval exercises, and this is another way we can learn from each other and build friendships forged through adversity."
Each country will contribute ten soldiers to the exercise, and the participants will be supported by approximately 120 staff from the Australian Army.
Exercise Kowari 15, which is the second time the trilateral exercise has taken place this year, is scheduled to conclude on 14 September.
Led by the Australian Army’s 2nd Division, Exercise Kowari 14 involved ten Australian Army soldiers, ten from China’s People’s Liberation Army, and five each from the US Army and the Marine Corps.
Images: Australian Army soldiers demonstrate safe abseiling techniques to Australian, Chinese and US military personnel during Exercise Kowari 2014. Photo: courtesy of ABIS Nicolas Gonzalez / Commonwealth of Australia.