Military builds up for Exercise Talisman Sabre

HMAS Canberra Exercise Talisman Sabre Navy 2019
HMAS Canberra off the north Queensland coast with five MRH 90 aircraft on deck and her four landing craft deployed. Source: Royal Australian Navy

Australia, United States and New Zealand military forces are building up as Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019 gets under way.

Five Royal Australian Navy (RAN) ships are operating off the Queensland coast as part of the exercise.

They are HMAS Adelaide, HMAS Canberra, HMAS Farncomb, HMAS Melbourne and HMAS Parramatta.

The RAN says Talisman Sabre is a major exercise reflecting the closeness of Australia's alliances and the strength of the enduring US military relationship.

“TS19 is designed to practise our respective military services and associated agencies in planning and conducting combined and joint taskforce operations, and improve the combat readiness and interoperability between Australian and US forces,” the Navy says.

HMNZS Canterbury has crossed the Tasman to join the exercise.

Most of TS19 will take place in the existing ADF Shoalwater Bay Training Area and surrounding state forests near Rockhampton.

Other events will occur around Stanage Bay and the Capricorn Coast, Whitsundays, Mackay and Bundaberg.

Bundaberg Airport will be one of the sites later this month. Defence says there will be no impact on airport operations, the environment or business activity.

There will be land and air activities involving airport security, surveillance and simulated fire support using HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System).

“Aircraft movements through Bundaberg Airport will likely include C130 Hercules, C27J Spartan, MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft in addition to a range of rotary wing platforms,” an environmental report says.

TS19 will principally occupy the Bundaberg Airport and local support will likely be based out of the existing Army Reserve training depot on Quay Street.

“Other properties surrounding and throughout Bundaberg may also be used to support the exercise scenario however these will be limited to existing facilities in urban, industrial or rural settings in areas that are already developed where no natural values would be affected by the nature or intensity of activity,” the report says.

Free-call number for information

Defence has created a free call 1800 number if anyone has questions about Talisman Sabre 2019 (TS19). It will operate until 31 July 2019 and run 24/7.

The number is: 1800 426 352.


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