After two weeks of dynamic maneuvering schemes and elevated command and control, USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), flagship to Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 7 commanded by Rear Admiral Hugh D. Wetherald Commander, completed Exercise Talisman Sabre July 18.
Bonhomme Richard, with USS Green Bay (LPD 20), USS Ashland (LSD 48), USS Preble (DDG 88), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), and counterparts from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) worked to make the biennial exercise a success.
From the Northern Territory waters of the Indian Ocean to the North Australia Exercise Area, Bradshaw Field, Australia provided a unique setting for Australian and U.S. forces to increase the already-strong partnership between the two allies. It enabled the forces to accomplish missions across naval and land warfare.
The Strike Group performed more than 20 landing craft, air cushion (LCAC) and landing craft utility (LCU) ship-to-shore connections and more than 40 MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft flights from the Bonhomme Richard. In those craft more than 2 million pounds of equipment was moved from the sea based platform to the Bradshaw Field Training Area.
During Talisman Sabre the multifaceted training scenarios allowed the teams to practice integration.
Ashore, Marines alongside members of the 2nd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (2RAR) who embarked on USS Green Bay (LPD 20) participated in the amphibious assault, July 11 and in the field they conducted live-fire training.
At sea, the Expeditionary Strike Group teamed up with Royal Australian Navy ships, HMAS Choules and HMAS Perth to conduct air, surface and sub-surface defense training allowing for a dynamic range of participant aircraft and ships.
This was the sixth iteration of the Talisman Sabre exercise. Talisman Sabre merges the previous exercises Tandem Thrust and Crocodile into one biennial, combined exercise with U.S. and Australian forces. Planning teams have already begun preparations for Talisman Sabre 2017.
Image: US Navy