Friday, July 12, 2013

Preparations in full swing Down Under for Exercise Talisman Saber 2013

ROCKHAMPTON, Australia (July 8, 2013) U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Ward Massey oversees offload of an HH-60H Sea Hawk assigned to the Firehawks of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Eighty-Five (HSC-85) from a C-17 Globemaster assigned to the 729th Airlift Squadron of the 452nd Air Mobility Wing. The High Rollers will provide aerial support to Exercise Talisman Saber 2013. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (AW) Christopher D. Blachly/RELEASED)

Preparations for the upcoming Exercise Talisman Saber 2013 between the Australian and United States militaries are in full swing, with an increasing number of American military assets rolling into Queensland over the past week. A number of USAF C-17, Navy/Marine C-130 and C-40 transports (among others) have been noted by Aussie planespotters arriving into Townsville and Rockhampton, while the USS Blue Ridge, Germantown and Bonhomme Richard have made port calls to Australian ports.

Jointly sponsored by the U.S. Pacific Command and ADF Headquarters Joint Operations Command, the Talisman Saber exercise series is a biennial training event aimed at improving Australian Defence Force (ADF) and U.S. combat readiness and interoperability as a Combined Joint Task Force. The 2013 exercise, which runs through August 5, is designed to enhance collaboration in support of future combined operations, humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters. Talisman Saber 2013 will incorporate U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force, the ADF and other government agencies from each country.

For the public, tomorrow (14 July) will see the Talisman Saber 2013 Open Day at the Rockhampton Showgrounds, with the attractions being military hardware, aircraft and displays. Visitors can also talk to defence personnel from the Australian Army and visiting US forces and enjoy performances by US 7th Fleet Band and the Australian Army Band Brisbane.

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