10 May 2023

Countdown to major military exercise begins

| Matt Nicholls
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Expect to see plenty of activity at RAAF Base Scherger in late July-early August.

WEIPA is gearing up to play a major role in a major military exercise involving tens of thousands of troops from across the globe.

Exercise Talisman Sabre will be staged across northern Australia, with approximately 30,000 military personnel to participate, almost double the number involved in 2021.

Now in its tenth iteration, Talisman Sabre is the largest bilateral combined training activity between the Australian Defence Force and United States military.

The biennial exercise is an opportunity to exercise high-end, multi-domain warfare capabilities, build and affirm military-to-military ties and interoperability, and strengthen strategic partnerships across the region.

Confirmed participating partner nations in Talisman Sabre 2023 include Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, France, United Kingdom, Canada and Germany.

The Philippines, Singapore and Thailand will attend as observers.

Talisman Sabre 2023 will run from July 22 to August 4 and will be primarily in Queensland but also in Western Australia, the Northern Territory and NSW.

Last year, Brigadier Damian Hill told Cape York Weeklythat locals should be preparing to see a major presence in the Cape.

“It’s difficult to put a number on it at this stage, but I think around the 1000 mark would be a safe estimate,” he said.

Brigadier Hill said that RAAF Base Scherger and the Weipa harbour would provide organisers with a unique training opportunity.

“The objective of the exercise has always been about developing inter-operability between the US and Australian defence forces,” he said.

“It’s high-end warfighting and training. Cape York provides us with a really great opportunity to practice some difficult problems.”

“Talisman Sabre 2023 will be the largest ever iteration of the exercise in terms of both geographic span and also partner nation involvement.”

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