30,000 Australian and US personnel gear for month-long drill Talisman Sabre

US Navy photo of Australian and US ships conducting multi-unit anti-submarine warfare exercise (ASWEX) during Talisman Sabre 2015

Taking place at sea, in the air and on land, this year’s edition of exercise Talisman Sabre will see 30,000 Australian and U.S. personnel training together for mid- to high-intensity warfare.

Joined by smaller numbers of personnel from New Zealand, Japan and Canada the drill will kick off at the end of June and last for a month.

Forces will clash in conventional, irregular and cyber battles in the Northern Territory and around the Shoalwater Bay Training Area.

Director-General Australian Defence Force Simulation and Training Commodore Allison Norris said the exercise would be conducted at locations in the US, Australia and on three seas.

“Personnel will operate in Hawaii, Korea, Japan, the Northern Territory, Queensland and on the Timor, Coral and Arafura Seas,” Commodore Norris said.

“For the first time, the exercise will also use a non-Defence training area around Stanage Bay, to the north of the Shoalwater Bay Training Area, for amphibious operations.”

Taking place every two years, Talisman Sabre is a US-led, Australian supported, combined and joint warfighting exercise, which Commodore Norris said would expose the 30,000 personnel to a wide range of military capabilities and training experiences.

HMA Ships Canberra, Choules, Anzac, Toowoomba, Ballarat, Darwin, Melbourne, Success, Diamantina, Huon, Gascoyne and Melville will all take part.

Talisman Sabre will not be attended by the Royal Australian Navy’s newest and largest ships HMAS Canberra and HMAS Adelaide as they are tied to port due to propulsion issues.

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