DARWIN, Australia -- Sailors from guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) and a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft joined opening ceremonies for exercise Kakadu in Darwin, Aug. 31.
Hosted biennially by the Royal Australian Navy, Kakadu is a key multilateral exercise that brings many regional navies together to train and cooperate at sea.
This year, Kakadu includes 23 ships and submarines, 21 aircraft and more than 3,000 personnel and observers from 27 nations.
Michael Murphy and the P-8A from Patrol Squadron (VP) 45 will participate in all phases of the exercise, while Vice Adm. Phil Sawyer, commander of U.S. 7th Fleet, will participate in the RAN fleet commanders’ conference with regional navy counterparts.
“Hosting a massive, multilateral exercise like this shows the Royal Australian Navy’s strong leadership and commitment to providing security in a free and open Indo-Pacific,” said Sawyer. “We always look forward to training with our RAN allies during exercises like this, Talisman Sabre and RIMPAC. I’m also thrilled to be back in Australia to participate in Admiral Mead’s commanders’ conference.”
U.S. 7th Fleet celebrated the 75th anniversary of its establishment in Brisbane, March 15.
In addition to training with the RAN, and other like-minded navies during Kakadu, Michael Murphy Sailors will also have opportunities to explore Australia’s Northern Territory.
"The crew of USS Michael Murphy is excited to participate in both the harbor and sea phases of Kakadu with our international partners,” said Cmdr. Kevin Louis, commanding officer of USS Michael Murphy. “The opportunity to train together and improve our maritime interoperability skills is tremendous. Additionally, the crew is thrilled to be visiting Darwin. For most of our Sailors this is their first visit to Australia and we look forward to seeing the magnificent sights of the Northern Territory."
U.S. Navy joined Kakadu for the first time in 2016 with USS Hopper (DDG 70) and a P-8A aircraft.