The ADF and Marine Rotational Force-Darwin: Training in the Top End


By Lieutenant Gordon Carr-Gregg

More than 2000 troops from the Australian Defence Force and Marine Rotational Force-Darwin (MRF-D) have completed a high-end live-fire warfighting exercise at Bradshaw Field Training Area in the Northern Territory.

Commander 1st Brigade Brigadier Ash Collingburn said Exercise Koolendong confirmed the ability of United States and Australian forces to quickly respond to crises in the region if needed.

“Exercise Koolendong was the culminating activity of MRF-D 2021 and a key training event for the Australian Army’s 1st Brigade in enhancing security cooperation between USMC and the ADF through combined-arms live fire,” Brigadier Collinburn said.

“It is a tangible demonstration of ADF and USMC capability to respond to a crisis in the region as a coalition force land component with an integrated coalition command structure.”

Commanding Officer MRF-D Colonel David Banning said Koolendong demonstrated that the US and Australia alliance was as strong as ever.

“The ability of MRF-D and the ADF to conduct this exercise during a pandemic is testament to the strength of our partnership,” Colonel Banning said.

“We’ve brought together all the assets of a marine air-ground task force and an equivalent ADF force, including more than 2000 troops, 500 vehicles and 20 airframes.”

2021 marks 70 years since the signing of the ANZUS Treaty with Australia’s most important defence partner.

“The Australia-US Alliance has never been more important as we look ahead to our shared strategic challenges in the region,” Colonel Banning said.

This article was published by the Australian Department of Defence on September 6,2021.

The featured photo: ADF and Marine Rotational Force – Darwin personnel on Exercise Koolendong at Bradshaw Training Area in the Northern Territory. Photo: Corporal Rodrigo Villablanca .