War came to Bundaberg today when Australian and United States forces went to the defence of a Pacific ally.
According to Defence sources who spoke to The Australian, on Thursday the central Pacific nation of Kamaria overwhelmed and occupied the tiny republic of Legais, a chain of islands just off the Queensland coast.
It was all part of Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019, which is a bilateral combined Australian and United States (US) training activity.
Under the banner of a United Nations resolution, US, Australian and Japanese forces were fighting to liberate the people of Legais.
This involved using Bundaberg Airport and various sites around Bundaberg for military operations.
An M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) simulated firing from the Bundaberg Multiplex this afternoon.
HIMARS is a light multiple rocket launcher developed in the late 1990s for the United States Army, mounted on a standard army truck frame.
Visiting Bundaberg from the Gold Coast, Nadine and Robert Swanney said they were shocked to see the missile launcher in action near where they had set up their caravan at the CMCA RV Park beside the Multiplex.
“We saw a lot of police cars circling the area that alerted us to the centre of the field and we thought what is going on,” Nadine said.
“Then we saw what we thought was a missile launcher go up – it’s certainly not something I’ve ever seen and you do get nervous when you see things like this.”
Also visiting the Bundaberg Region from Ballarat was John Gravenell who said that he had served in the Australia Army and he had never seen anything like it.
“I have a feeling it’s an American one as I’ve definitely never seen one of them in Australia,” John said.
Robert said he would have loved to have been able to fly his drone up and check it out from above to capture a bird’s eye view of the military vehicle.
“I think it could have come in off the USS Ronald Reagan. We were intrigued about it that’s for sure,” Robert said.
“It’s definitely not the usual tourist attraction you see in Bundaberg,” Nadine said with a laugh.
Earlier today, an Australian Army truck needed mechanical repairs at the Bundaberg Airport roundabout.
Exercise Talisman Sabre operations in Bundaberg are expected to conclude on Saturday evening.
- Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019 flies into Bundaberg
— With Emma Reid