The Exercise KAKADU 2018 (KA18) has officially begun aboard Her Majesty Australian Ship (HMAS) CANBERRA docked at the Fort Hill Wharf in Darwin Port yesterday, 31 August 2018 at 6 o’clock in the evening (local time). Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead, the Commander of the Australian Fleet, announced the start of the biennial multilateral regional maritime exercise codenamed KAKADU 2018 scheduled until 15 September 2018 in Darwin, Australia.
Present in this event were the representatives of participating nations including the Philippine Navy led by the Commander, Philippine Fleet, Rear Admiral Danilo Rodelas, along with the Commander, Fleet Marine Ready Force and at the same time Head of Mission, Commodore Toribio Adaci Jr, Commander, Naval Task Force 91, Captain Junjie Tabuada and BRP RAMON ALCARAZ (FF-16) Commanding Officer, Captain Glenn Dizon.
Rear Adm Mead said that, “Exercise KAKADU is a joint-enabled biennial exercise hosted by the Royal Australian Navy. It is Australia’s largest maritime exercise and aims to foster and strengthen effective security and humanitarian partnerships across the Indo-Pacific region through a series of training and engagement activities.” He added, “Confidence, Capability and Cooperation, these are the important key for this exercise.”
Earlier, Rear Adm. Rodelas expressed his gratitude for the invitation of the Royal Australian Navy to join in this exercise. He said this exercise aimed to advance the participating navies maritime operational capability. “After RIMPAC 2018 in Hawaii, the exercise KAKADU is a great avenue to train our personnel in combined naval operations. We can expect that there will be an increase engagement and activities in the coming years, as we strengthen our cooperative efforts in the region,” he added.
Meanwhile, Commo Adaci said that, “This is the third time the PN has sent its ship to participate since the exercise began in 1993. The first time that the PN sent a ship was in 1999 and the last was in 2014. PN observers were also sent in the past exercises.” He further said that the exercise serves as a good exposure to our PN contingent. “There will be a lot of training activities and navy-to-navy exchanges that will enhance the competencies and skills of our Navy personnel,” he added.
Rear Adm. Rodelas, is expected to participate in the RAN’s Fleet Commanders Conference with the other regional navy counterparts. While, PN contingent aboard BRP ALCARAZ will participate in both the harbour and sea phase activities.
KA18 is the 14th iteration and will be participated in by twenty-four (24) naval vessels and twenty-one (21) aircraft from twenty-six (26) countries. The participating countries involve including the Philippines are Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Fiji, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, UAE, USA and Vietnam.
The Philippine Navy’s participation in Exercise KAKADU 2018 conveys the Command’s commitment in promoting multilateral cooperation. It is an affirmation of its commitment in collaborating with other navies to promote peace and stability in the maritime region. PHILIPPINE NAVY