Australia brings new amphibious forces to Hawaii exercises

Australia brings new amphibious forces to Hawaii exercises

Associated Press

KANEOHE BAY, Hawaii (AP) - Australian soldiers are expected to lead a battalion in the storming of a Hawaii beach during the world's largest maritime exercises this month, displaying amphibious military skills they've been building in recent years.

For the first time, Australia's navy has brought an amphibious assault ship to the 26-nation Rim of the Pacific drills.

The HMAS Canberra is capable of delivering more than 1,000 troops ashore with the help of helicopters and water craft.

The Australian army will lead a battalion ashore during a landing exercise.

Australia's push to develop sea-to-land capability dates to 1999, when it led a U.N. force to restore peace in East Timor. Australia found it needed amphibious forces to be more effective, but didn't have them.

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