The Philippines was one of the countries that sent staff officers to the French Armed Forces-led Croix du Sud exercise from April 24 to May 6, 2023.
Participants from 19 countries gathered in New Caledonia, a French territory, for the joint and multinational exercise dedicated to the interoperability of military forces in the context of post-natural disaster crisis management in the South Pacific.
Coming back from a few years of hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Croix du Sud exercise this year brought together about 3,000 military and civilian personnel, 10 ships, and 15 aircraft.
The two-week exercise was built around the scenario of emergency assistance after a natural disaster (humanitarian assistance and disaster relief – HADR) to strengthen the interoperability with military partners in the region. It also showed the capacity of the French Armed Forces to receive and command a significant volume of foreign detachments.
Australia was the largest foreign contributor with 250 participants, including an infantry company, a C-27J aircraft, and an Australian Defense Vessel Reliant. The United States was the second largest foreign participant with approximately 240 participants, a C-130 aircraft, and the frigate USS Oakland.
The United Kingdom, Fiji, New Zealand, and Tonga also sent their troops to participate. Eight other countries participated with staff officers, including Canada, Germany, Indonesia, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, and Singapore.
Brunei, Indonesia, Japan, and Malaysia participated as observers.