THE man in charge of coordinating the biggest joint venture between the Australian and American militaries says he’s excited about Weipa playing a major role in 2023.
Brigadier Damian Hill is the director of Exercise Talisman Sabre and said locals should be preparing to see a major presence in the Cape next year.
“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 of the expected troop numbers.
“As far as geography goes, Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023 will be our biggest ever.
“We’re expecting to have a large presence across northern Australia, including Cape York, the Northern Territory and Western Australia.”
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.”
Brigadier Hill said the plan was to attempt to run a pipe from near the Weipa harbour all the way to Scherger.
“If we were looking to open up a bare base like Scherger we’d be looking at pumping fuel and oil from Weipa,” he said.
“At this stage, we’re just looking at running a water hose to see how it’s done and what the challenges are
“The heat is going to be a big challenge, especially for the US Marines, who always find it a bit tough over here.
“We’re still finalising plans but we’re looking forward to being in Weipa next year, around late July and early August.”