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Exercise Talisman Saber 2013 begins

More than 28,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and women will be taking to the sea, land and sky in northern Australia as part of Exercise Talisman Saber 2013.

Talisman Saber is a biennial training activity jointly sponsored by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Joint Operations Command and the US Pacific Command to train the United States 7th Fleet and Australian Deployable Joint Headquarters staffs as a designated Combined Task Force.

Australian Talisman Saber 2013 spokesman Brigadier Bob Brown, said the training activity would see US and Australian forces mobilise to react to a fictional scenario.

“The scenario will be a peace enforcement mission, that sets the conditions for the task force to hand over to a United Nations peacekeeping force,” Brigadier Brown said.

“The forces will operate in military training areas in central and south-east Queensland, the Northern Territory and the Coral, Timor and Arafura seas. Shoalwater Bay Training Area will be used predominantly, with a large staging area at Defence Base Rockhampton.

“This year Talisman Saber sees further practice and progression of Defence’s emerging amphibious capability. The exercise will be the third block of training for the 2nd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment’s Amphibious Ready Element Landing Force. 

“Talisman Saber is a unique and invaluable opportunity to exercise combined and joint Defence capability between Australia and the US.

“As with the previous Talisman Saber exercises, this activity is a major undertaking reflecting the Australian and US alliance and the strength of the military-to-military relationship,” Brigadier Brown said.

Approximately 21,000 US and 7000 Australian Defence Force personnel will be involved in the exercise, along with other Australian Government agencies including the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, AusAID, Australian Federal Police, and Australian Civil-Military Centre. 

The ADF has conducted a full environmental impact assessment on the Shoalwater Bay region and strong measures have been put in place for participants to respect and protect the marine environment.

Talisman Saber 2013 runs from 15 July until 6 August 2013.