Talisman Saber 2017 concludes

U.S., Australian and New Zealand Navy ships steam with the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) in a 19-ship formation at the conclusion of Talisman Saber 2017. Photo: US Navy

The combined U.S.-Australian exercise Talisman Saber 2017 concluded in Brisbane on July 25 after 30 days of high-end, mid-intensity warfighting scenarios.

Two years in the planning, Talisman Saber involved approximately 33,000 participants, 36 warships and over 220 aircraft.

Luke Howarth MP, Australian Federal Member for Petrie representing Minister for Defence, Senator Marise Payne, was joined by the United States Consul General, Ms Valerie Fowler; Commander US Pacific Fleet, Admiral Scott Swift; and Commanding General, US Army Pacific, General Robert Brown, at the closing ceremony aboard the carrier USS Ronald Reagan.

Chief of Joint Operations, Vice Admiral David Johnston, said the exercise, now in its seventh iteration, had been the most complex, challenging and fulfilling Talisman Saber to date.

“Cooperation between the ADF, other government agencies and the forces of the United States and other international participants has been exceptional,” Vice Admiral Johnston said.

“The exercise has given all participants, from the staff of the highest headquarters down to the most junior servicemen and women, a rich training experience.”

The exercise also included a combined amphibious assault involving Australian, United States and New Zealand forces.

Representatives from 24 other nations were given the opportunity to observe portions of the exercise.

Talisman Saber and its associated infrastructure stretched from the East Coast of the United States to Alaska, Korea, Japan, Hawaii, Darwin, Brisbane and Canberra, with land and maritime training areas in between.

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