Australia joins Japan-United States exercise for first time

2 February 2024

The Australian Defence Force has joined Japan and the United States for Exercise Keen Edge for the first time.

Historically a bilateral activity between Japan and the United States, Keen Edge 24 will test the combined readiness of all three nations to respond to security challenges in the region.

A contingent of Australian Defence Force personnel have deployed to Hawaii and mainland Japan for the exercise which will improve interoperability, practise command and control in a dynamic scenario, and test communications across different locations.  

Australia’s participation in Keen Edge 24 was first announced during the 2023 Defence Ministers’ Meeting between the Minister for Defence, the Hon Richard Marles MP and Japanese Minister of Defense, Kihara Minoru.

Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Greg Bilton, said Keen Edge 24 followed Exercise Yama Sakura 23 in December, another Japan-US exercise that Australia participated in for the first time.

“The Australia-Japan relationship is underpinned by engagement and collaboration across all aspects of defence and we are actively strengthening our commitment to security cooperation,” Lieutenant General Greg Bilton said.

“Following Exercise Yama Sakura in late 2023, Australia’s participation in Exercise Keen Edge with two of our most important partners in Japan and the United States, reinforces our shared commitment to regional security.”

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