By Xu Guang and Yi Hongji
DARWIN, Sept. 3 (ChinaMil) -- The opening ceremony of the multinational naval exercise “Kakadu-2018” was held aboard the HMAS Canberra (L02), the lead ship of the Canberra-class landing helicopter dock (LHD) in service with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), on the afternoon of August 31. The HMAS Canberra was decorated with flags and welcomed the arrival of the participating countries’ naval troops with the highest naval etiquette.
More than 150 people, including personnel of the Chinese guided-missile frigate Huangshan (Hull 570) and representatives of other participating parties, as well as Australian government officials, attended the opening ceremony.
Government officials of Darwin introduced some local information and traditional culture to the attendees and conducted traditional blessing rituals according to the local customs. Subsequently, Commander Australian Fleet Rear Admiral Jonathan Dallas Mead delivered an opening speech.
Rear Admiral Mead said in an interview that China, Pakistan and other countries were here for the first time, which makes the Kakadu exercise more meaningful, enriching the exercise purpose of self-confidence, cooperation and communication.
After the opening ceremony, the Australian side held an official reception in the hangar of the HMAS Canberra. The representatives of the Chinese naval officers and soldiers actively engaged in exchanges and interactions with other participating countries’ naval troops and exchanged views on issues of common concern.
It is reported that the exercise will be held for 15 days and the first section is harbor phase held from August 31 to September 5.This phase includes the opening ceremony and introduction of the exercise, the fleet commanders’ conference, the planning coordination meeting, the “Kakadu Cup”sports meeting and so on.