LHD Canberra to be tested for joint amphibious ops

Australia’s newest military capability, the Amphibious Ready Element, is preparing to demonstrate its capacity in waters off the North Queensland coast. 
Townsville-based 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment with MRH-90 helicopters from the 16th Aviation Brigade will combine with the Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Canberra and Air Force assets to conduct a series of amphibious training activities from August through to October.
Conducted by the Deployable Joint Force Headquarters under the command of Major General Stuart Smith, the 'Sea Series' of exercises will enable the amphibious force to achieve an interim operational capability.
“This capability will enhance the defence of Australia and support our strategic interests in the region, including the ability to support Government’s provision of humanitarian aid during disaster response,” MAJGEN Smith said. 
The Amphibious Ready Element includes a force of 900 ADF and other Government personnel, supported by four MRH-90 helicopters embarked in Canberra.
Commander of the Amphibious Task Force Captain Jay Bannister, RAN said the focus was on integration of the joint force with the ship and projecting land forces across the beach by air and landing craft.
“The training will enable Canberra, and her very diverse and capable embarked force, to learn how to operate as an Amphibious Joint Task Force,” CAPT Bannister said.
The Sea Series of exercises will culminate in October when the force will be assessed for operational readiness. 
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