Australian Amphibious Force Completes Exercise Sea Explorer
Australian Amphibious Force Completes Exercise Sea Explorer

Australian Amphibious Force Completes Exercise Sea Explorer

Exercise Sea Explorer has concluded with about 1800 Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel taking part and for the first time the tactical deployment of M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks was exercised in amphibious operations. Embarked in Royal Navy HMA Ships Canberra and Choules, the Australian Amphibious Force conducted wet and dry environmental rehearsals, combat enhancement training and force integration. The Australian Amphibious Force achieved the milestone at Cowley Beach in North Queensland during Exercise Sea Explorer, the second major activity of the Sea Series suite of exercises.

Australian Army M1A1 Abrams Tanks being loaded onto Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Canberra from two light landing crafts, during Exercise Sea Explorer, Cowley Beach, Queensland. (LACW Jacqueline Forrester/Australian Government Department of Defence)

Commander Amphibious Task Force Captain Leif Maxfield said,”The exercise provided a fantastic opportunity to learn and test new skillsets in the amphibious environment. The Australian Amphibious Force is a scalable, joint force enhancing the ADF’s ability to achieve the nation’s Defence and maritime strategic objectives and interests throughout the region.”

A soldier from the Army beach team signals to landing craft approaching Cowley Beach during Exercise Sea Explorer. (LACW Jacqueline Forrester/Australian Government Department of Defence)

Commander 1st Division Major General Jake Ellwood said,”The achievement showed Defence is advancing its warfighting capability in the coastal environment. During Exercise Sea Explorer we were able to demonstrate our capacity to project a mechanised combat team onto land from the sea. Troops rehearsed beach landings with a range of military vehicles, including the M1A1 Tank, using a variety of landing craft and with Australian Army ARH-Tiger and CH-47 Chinook helicopters in support.”

Australian Army CH-47 Chinook helicopters air lift M777 Howitzers onto Cowley Beach, during an amphibious assault as part of Exercise Sea Explorer. (LACW Jacqueline Forrester/Australian Government Department of Defence)

Troops trained day and night to familiarise forces with the conduct of amphibious operations. Exercise Sea Explorer enables our soldiers, sailors and aviators to practice a range of procedures and capabilities in complex and challenging scenarios. The training will intensify next month on Exercise Sea Raider when the Australian Amphibious Force take the lessons learnt on this exercise, and put them in to practice during a range of realistic amphibious assault and raid rehearsals as part Exercise Talisman Sabre.

An Australian Army M1A1 Abrams Tank is loaded onto a Royal Australian Navy light landing craft, during Exercise Sea Explorer, Cowley Beach, Queensland. (LACW Jacqueline Forrester/Australian Government Department of Defence)