Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019 flies into Bundaberg

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RAAF C-17A Globemaster III
Troops arrive on a RAAF C-17A Globemaster III at Bundaberg Airport during Exercise Talisman Sabre.

Australian and United States military personnel flew into Bundaberg Airport last night for operations as part of Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019.

Bundaberg Now photographer Paul Donaldson was airside last night to capture these unique images.

C-17A Globemaster III
A RAAF C-17A Globemaster III on the tarmac at Bundaberg Airport.

The Talisman Sabre series is the principle Australian and US military bilateral training exercise focused on the planning and conduct of mid-intensity “high-end” war fighting.

Japanese and New Zealand forces are also participating in this year's exercise, which is being observed by the Chinese Navy from international waters.

Exercise Talisman Sabre Bundaberg
A RAAF C-17A Globemaster III unloads at Bundaberg Airport for Exercise Talisman Sabre. Pictures: Paul Donaldson

At 11.40pm on Friday night, a Royal Australian Air Force C-17 Globemaster flew into Bundaberg to unload troops and military equipment.

The C-17A Globemaster is a high-wing four-engine heavy transport aircraft. It is fitted with a cargo bay ramp that allows it to airdrop cargo in-flight, and can operate from unsurfaced runways as short as 1100 metres.

Exercise Talisman Sabre
A RAAF C-17A Globemaster III unloads at Bundaberg Airport for Exercise Talisman Sabre.

Able to carry up to 77 tonnes of cargo, the C-17A's cargo bay can accommodate loads ranging from:

  • An Abrams Tank;
  • Four Bushmaster vehicles; or
  • Three Black Hawk helicopters.

A US MV-22 Osprey also touched down in Bundaberg last night. It's the primary assault support aircraft for the US Marine Corps.

MV-22 Osprey
A United States Marine Corp MV-22 Osprey at Bundaberg Airport.

The Osprey is unique in that it uses two engines positioned on fixed wing tips housed in nacelles that rotate to allow the MV-22 to land and take off vertically, but achieve much faster flight than a helicopter by tilting the nacelles forward while in flight in a configuration similar to a fixed-wing aircraft.

With the speed and range of a turboprop, the maneuverability of a helicopter and the ability to carry 24 Marine combat troops twice as fast and five times farther than previous helicopters, the Osprey enhances Marine assault operations.

MV-22 Osprey
A United States Marine Corp MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft taking off from Bundaberg Airport.

Exercise Talisman Sabre continues today in Bundaberg

Defence says operations will continue in Bundaberg today.

“During this time, local residents can expect to see and hear military personnel and equipment moving around the town and surrounding areas as well as increased air traffic at the Bundaberg Airport,” Defence said in a statement.

“Bundaberg locals are encouraged to be alert to military activity over the time, but not alarmed.

“The Australian Defence Force’s ability to respond quickly to domestic and world events is a result of its high training standards and the activities conducted in and around the local area are integral to maintaining this standard.

“Every effort is made to reduce disruption caused by Defence training activities and we thank the community for its willingness to support and work with us during this time.”

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