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By Patrick Decloitre, RNZ Pacific correspondent French Pacific desk

French Polynesia has just played host to a 15-nation “Marara” military exercise aimed at increasing “interoperability” between participating armed forces.

From May 27 to June 8, the exercise involved about 1000 military from Australia, New Zealand, United States, Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Cook Islands, Vanuatu, Tonga, Fiji, Canada, the Netherlands and Peru.

For the occasion, Japan’s helicopter carrier LST Kunisaki was used as a joint command post in what is described as a realistic simulation of an international relief operation to assist a fictitious Pacific island country struck by a grave natural disaster.

Military transport planes and patrol boats were also brought into the exercise by participating countries.

“Marara 2024 illustrates France’s commitment to reinforce security and stability in the Pacific . . . and its ability to cooperate with nations of the region for the benefit of the people,” the French Armed forces in French Polynesia said in a media release.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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