Joint military exercise pits soldiers against fictional enemy, harsh terrain, unseasonable cold


A big navy train involving Australian and US troops is underway within the West Kimberley for the primary time. 

Train Koolendong happens yearly within the Northern Territory however this 12 months can also be working out of Yampi Sound Coaching Space and RAAF Base Curtin, each close to Derby.

Greater than 2,200 marines, troopers and airwing are testing their potential to outwit a fictional enemy nicknamed Murphy 22 throughout rugged terrain within the Kimberley and NT.

“One of many key elements … is with the ability to prepare as you’ll battle,” Captain Joe DiPietro, of the US Marine Rotational Drive, mentioned.

“Having a pondering enemy that may transfer and might construct defensive positions or transfer into completely different ambush areas and with the ability to fight that may be a important part of Koolendong 22.”

soldiers walk away from a large plane carrying guns and bags
US Marines throughout train Koolendong in 2013 within the Northern Territory.(Equipped: Lance Corporal Tyler Dietrich)

However an sudden problem has been the unseasonably chilly nights, with temperatures at Yampi Sound dropping beneath 4 levels Celsius repeatedly this month.

“All of us received [to Darwin] round February-March when it was extraordinarily scorching and humid. So the transition from that to what they’re working in proper now has been a giant change.”

Two soldiers in camouflage gear on a US vessel and looking out to sea.
Troopers on board Normal Brehon B Somervell conduct security drills and coaching in Koolendong 22.(Equipped: Chief Warrant Officer 2 Teresa Kasper, 168th Transportation Detachment)

Shifting tools with out roads and speaking in areas far past cell phone reception was additionally a part of the take a look at.

“There’s quite a lot of logistics challenges that we face. However we’ve a extremely good staff right here,” Captain DiPietro mentioned.

“The Australians, each in defence and civilian, have been in a position to assist us with civilian barges, delivery, navy, delivery plane, so utilising completely different sources and completely different property to get throughout these huge ranges is a key a part of this train.”