The Aussies are working significant modernization of their forces and are doing it with a close eye with regard to working with core allies like Japan and the United States.
At the recent RIMPAC, a couple of events illustrate their approach in moving ahead.
The first involves their naval rebuild and working new task force approaches for their navy.
The introduction of their new amphibious ship has come at a time of significant innovation with regard to the evolving role of what an amphibious task force can achieve.
And for the Aussies working closely with the USN and USMC team in this regard as well as with other allies in the region building up their sea base capabilities is important as well,
According to the Australian Department of Defence in a video release dated July 18, 2018:
Exercise Rim of the Pacific 18 (RIMPAC 18) is a biennial military training exercise to strengthen international maritime partnerships, enhance interoperability and improve the readiness of participating forces for a wide range of potential operations.
Now in its 25th iteration, the Australian Defence Force deployed HMAS Adelaide, Success, Toowoomba, Melbourne and Rankin, an amphibious landing force from 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, and one P-8A Poseidon aircraft.
The multinational activity, held from 27 June to 2 August 2018 in Hawaii and off the coast of California, is the world’s largest maritime exercise and includes 25,000 personnel from 25 countries. Australian personnel will exercise across a broad spectrum of scenarios from humanitarian assistance and disaster response to maritime security operations, sea control and complex war fighting.
Participating personnel and assets will conduct gunnery, missile, anti-submarine, and air-defence exercises, as well as maritime interdiction and vessel boardings, explosive ordnance disposal, diving and salvage operations, mine clearance operations and an amphibious landing.
The video highlights the engagement of the USMC operating with the new Aussie amphibious ship.
A second example is further progress in preparing to operate its new P-8 maritime patrol aircraft, which the Aussies will operate with their new Tritons in the next few years as well. During the exercise the Aussie P-8s fired their first Harpoon missiles.
This is a further step in declaring IOC for the Aussie maritime patrol aircraft.
Minister for Defence Marise Payne said the Harpoon was integral to the P-8A reaching full operational capability.
“The successful launch of the Harpoon requires a significant effort from a range of specialist personnel,” Minister Payne said.
“The men and women of the RAAF’s 92 Wing should be proud to have achieved this key step in the realisation of this important capability for Australia.
“Our partnership with the United States Navy has allowed us access to the range facility, a long-standing agreement that has seen the successful testing of many Australian Defence Force weapon systems across both Air Force and Navy.”
Exercise RIMPAC 18 is the world’s largest multinational maritime exercise, with 25 nations participating.
The Australian Defence Force is participating with HMA Ships Adelaide, Success, Melbourne and Toowoomba, submarine HMAS Rankin, Australian Army’s 2RAR (Amphib), and RAAF’s P-8A Poseidon.
The featured photo shows Officer Commanding No. 92 Wing, Royal Australian Air Force, Group Captain Darren Goldie, alongside the ATM-84J Harpoon loaded on the P-8A Poseidon at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, during RIMPAC 2018.