Survival drill unites US, Chinese, Australian forces Down Under
By AARON KIDD | STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 3, 2015
Ten U.S. Marines and soldiers are in the Australian Outback for Kowari 15, a trilateral exercise with Chinese and Australian forces that focuses on survival in harsh environments.
Kowari, which runs through Sept. 12 and first took place last year, provides participants with an understanding of the basic principles, procedures, techniques and equipment to survive severe conditions, the Australian army said in a statement.
The 30 participants were flown to the remote Northern Territory by Marine CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters after a week of team-building activities that began Aug. 29 at Larrakeyah Barracks, Darwin. Marines and soldiers have been divided into groups to be trained by North West Mobile Force, an Australian army regiment with close ties to the rugged Outback. Instructors will teach survival, tool-making and navigation techniques.
“Some people die within hours of being in a survival situation, while others will endure unbelievable hardships and live for months until rescued,” senior instructor David Sudholz said. “It boils down to what is in your head and how you use it.”
Kowari 15 also aims to build up international relationships.
“This is much more than just a field exercise. It has significant international engagement outcomes for each of our three nations,” Australian Defence Force Brig. Damian Cantwell, Kowari 15 commander, said in a U.S. Pacific command statement. “It’s an opportunity to build mutual trust, friendships, cooperation and understanding both at the individual level and the international level.”
A U.S. Marine rides in a CH-53E Super Stallion with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron, 463, Marine Rotational Force - Darwin while flying over the Daly River, Northern Territory, Australia, during Exercise Kowari 15, Aug. 31, 2015. Kowari is environmental survival training hosted by Australia that includes the U.S., Australia and China.
COURTESY OF THE AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE