PHOTOS: Australian Navy’s largest exercise comes to a close

Exercise Kakadu 2022 has come to a close with a full program of activities in the seas and skies off Northern Australia and in Darwin from 12 until 24 September.

Royal Australian Navy

Kakadu 2022 was one of the biggest iterations yet, having grown in scale and complexity over the past 30 years, according to the navy.

This year’s exercise involved 15 warships – including a submarine – and 34 aircraft from 22 different nations, along with more than 3000 sailors and officers.

The participating forces steamed more than 24500 nautical miles, conducted 13 anti-submarine warfare exercises, 15 air warfare serials and 17 gun-firing exercises, and expended more than 13000 rounds of ammunition in high-end training scenarios.

The air component flew 163 fixed-wing aircraft sorties, providing the Kakadu fleet and aviation task force with some of the best maritime air warfare training opportunities experienced in recent years.

The capabilities exercised ranged from humanitarian and disaster relief, seamanship and maritime law enforcement operations to high-end maritime warfighting, including anti-air and anti-submarine warfare in a combined environment.

Ashore in the Exercise Control organisation, for the first time in the exercise’s history, representatives from international partners filled almost all key positions, supported and mentored by their Australian counterparts.

The next Exercise Kakadu is scheduled for 2024.