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U.S., Australia, Japan complete Exercise Southern Jackaroo

U.S. Marines gather at the conlusion of Exercise Southern Jackaroo earlier this month, a fields exercise in Australia with the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force and the Australian Army. Photo by SSgt. Jordan Gilbert/U.S. Marines
U.S. Marines gather at the conlusion of Exercise Southern Jackaroo earlier this month, a fields exercise in Australia with the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force and the Australian Army. Photo by SSgt. Jordan Gilbert/U.S. Marines

June 25 (UPI) -- Exercise Southern Jackaroo, with troops from the United States, Japan and Australia, ended successfully in Australia's Outback, the U.S. Marine Corps said on Friday.

The Marines, Australian Army and Japan Ground self-Defense Force met for a two-week "tangible demonstration of multinational interoperability, where the forces worked through logistical and cultural challenges that tested the ability of each of the militaries to mutually support one another," said Corps said in a press release.

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The exercises, at the Mont Bundey Training Area in Australia's north-central Northern Territory, began with urban breaching, in which each national contingent demonstrated its method of maneuvering through urban terrain.

Elsewhere, Mike Battery, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment and the Australian 103rd Battery, 8th/12th Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, participated in fire missions with M777 howitzers.

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"We built a multi-rank team of interpreters, drawn from the Australian Army Defense and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, which meant we bridged the gap from the lowest ranks up to the command group to communicate each other's intent," Australian Army 1st Brigade Capt. David Ferwerda said in the release.

The three armies conducted artillery, unmanned aircraft and rotary wing aircraft maneuvers, separately as demonstrations and combined as a unified force.

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"There is a lot to learn from our partners and this trilateral format allows us to better understand our respective capabilities," commented Chief of the Australian Army Gen. Rick Burr in a statement at the start of the event.

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"It also enables us to continue to work together and be ready to contribute to national and collective responses," Burr said.

The second week featured a live fire event involving all three forces.

Weapons teams fired 400 mortars, 250 rounds of artillery, and thousands of rounds of machine gun ammunition, as well as four FGM-148 Javelin anti-armor guided missiles at simulated enemy targets.

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