Military personnel are already arriving in the Bundaberg Region as US and Australian defence forces prepare to participate in Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021.
Kicking off from 18 July, Talisman Sabre is the largest bilateral combined training activity between the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and United States military.
Occurring every two years, the Bundaberg Region was first included in the exercise in 2019.
Commander of the ADF’s Deployable Joint Force Headquarters Major General Jake Ellwood said the high-end war fighting exercise was designed to enhance the interoperability between the ADF and the US Armed Forces.
“Exercise Talisman Sabre reflects the strength of the Australia-US Alliance and the close and enduring nature of our military-to-military relationship,” Major General Ellwood said.
“It is a powerful demonstration of the breadth and depth of the Alliance, which includes strong people-to-people links, world-leading capability innovation, and highly interoperable forces.
“This year’s exercise will involve more than 17,000 personnel from Australia and the United States.”
Mayor Jack Dempsey said securing the exercise for the second time was fantastic for the region.
“Council, alongside many local businesses, is working in this space to get our region defence ready,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“The success of Exercise Talisman Sabre in 2019 helped to highlight the suitability of our region for defence operations.
“This year Council has worked with the ADF to utilise more Council facilities and expand its presence across the region for Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021.
“We look forward to continuing this great working relationship with the defence force.”
The ADF said exercise activities across the state would peak between 18 and 31 July, however the Bundaberg Region’s involvement was expected to be finalised by 24 July.
In addition to the United States, forces from Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom will participate in Talisman Sabre 2021, and Australia-based personnel from India, Indonesia, France and Germany will observe the exercise.
A majority of these international forces will participate exclusively offshore, including around 5000 who will participate as part of a United States Navy Expeditionary Strike Group, in a contactless component to the exercise.
Major General Ellwood said Talisman Sabre 2021 would demonstrate that United States and Australian militaries can quickly join forces and execute highly complex, multi-domain operations in a challenging environment.
“The range of COVID-19 safeguards that have been incorporated into the exercise underscores the seriousness with which Defence is prioritising the health and safety of Australian communities Robust COVIDSafe plans have been put in place to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 on exercise participants and the general public,” Major General Ellwood said.
“Talisman Sabre 2021 would not be possible without the generous cooperation of the community, including landowners, local governments, and traditional owners. We are grateful for their ongoing support.”
All international military participants taking part in the exercise onshore have undertaken the mandatory 14 days quarantine.
Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021 is the ninth iteration of the exercise and incorporates force preparation activities, amphibious landings, ground force manoeuvre, urban operations, and air combat and maritime operations.
It will also coincide with the 70th anniversary of the signing of the ANZUS Treaty and the 10th anniversary of the announcement of the US Force Posture Initiatives, demonstrating how the Alliance continues to evolve to meet the security challenges of the day.
The ADF advised that unfortunately, due to COVID-19 considerations, there would not be any public viewing opportunities during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021.