Chronology from May 2013 to Aug 2013
: A force of 1,000 US Marines starts a two-week training exercise at the Bradshaw Field Training Area as a follow on to this year’s Exercise Talisman Saber.
: PM Rudd announces the federal election will be held on Sept. 7, one week earlier than the Sept. 14 date set by his predecessor, Julia Gillard.
: Second annual Australia-Indonesia Defense Ministers Meeting is held in Perth.
: Australia signs an agreement with Papua New Guinea designed to stem the flow of boat people sailing to Australia seeking refugee status.
: PM Rudd visits Papua New Guinea to announce new aid projects and to negotiate the terms of a deal for PNG to process and resettle asylum seekers trying to reach Australia by boat from Indonesia.
: Exercise Talisman Saber begins at the Shoal Water Bay Training Area and the adjacent maritime areas in the Coral Sea. Approximately 20,000 US personnel participate.
: PM Rudd visits Jakarta to meet President Yudhoyono and discuss the issue of asylum seekers sailing to Australia from Indonesia.
: FM Carr and DM Smith visit Seoul for the first Australia-Korea Foreign and Defense Ministers’ (“2+2”) Meeting.
: The Australian Defence Force concludes its support to the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI). Since 2003, 7,270 Australian personnel from all three services have deployed to Solomon Islands for RAMSI.
: Kevin Rudd is sworn in as prime minister.
: DM Stephen Smith says he will continue as minister but announces he will not contest the federal election in September.
: DM Smith makes a statement to Parliament on Australia’s “Full Knowledge and Concurrence” on the US Joint Facilities on Australian soil.
: PM Gillard is deposed by the Labor Party caucus. The MPs and senators vote to return Kevin Rudd to the leadership (57 votes for Rudd, 45 for Gillard). Gillard said she would leave Parliament at the coming election. Treasurer Wayne Swan and five other ministers resign, saying they will not serve in Rudd’s Cabinet.
: India’s Minister of Defense A. K. Antony arrives in Australia – the first official visit to Australia by an Indian defense minister.
: Defense Ministers of the US, Australia, and Japan hold trilateral talks in Singapore on the margins of the Shangri-La Dialogue.
: Australian Broadcasting Corporation broadcasts a documentary claiming that Chinese hackers stole the blueprints for the new Canberra headquarters for the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation.
: DM Smith visits Washington and meets Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.
: An exchange of diplomatic notes brings the Australia-United States Defence Trade Cooperation Treaty into force.
: PM Gillard visits Papua New Guinea.
: Australia’s Defence White Paper released.
: DM Smith attends inaugural South Pacific Defence Ministers Meeting in Tonga.