Over the past three weeks, training has been undertaken across Queensland and Northern New South Wales, as well as offshore locations, by as many as 30000 personnel and 100 aircraft and helicopters, with the landings at Bowen this week reaching a critical phase in the battle scenario.
Royal Australian Navy ships HMAS Canberra and HMAS Adelaide remained offshore ahead of the beach landing, alongside the US Navy’s amphibious transport dock USS Green Bay and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s tank landing ship JS Kunisaki.
The largest vessel involved in the operation, the amphibious-assault ship USS Wasp, was too far offshore to be visible from the beach.
Personnel from the Australian Army’s 2nd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment, and the British Royal Marine Commandos, came ashore in an amphibious assault, while US Marines and Japan Self-Defense Forces concurrently stormed King’s Beach at Bowen, securing the site against a fictitious enemy.
Soldiers from all nations then moved throughout the town on foot and by vehicle to secure other objectives such as the Airport, as well as the community of Bowen itself.
During the beach assault, air support was provided by US Marines Bell UH-1Y Venom (Super Huey) and Bell AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters, which circled over the town.
Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Kawasaki CH-47JA Chinook heavy lift transport helicopters also provided troop carrying and cargo drop capabilities.
Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019 (TS19) is a bilateral combined Australian and US training activity. TS19 is designed to practice respective military services and associated agencies in planning and conducting Combined and Joint Task Force operations, and improve the combat readiness and interoperability between Australian and US forces.
Occurring every two years, Exercise Talisman Sabre is a major exercise reflecting the closeness of the alliance and strength of the enduring military relationship. TS19 is the eighth iteration of the exercise and consists of a Field Training Exercise incorporating force preparation (logistic) activities, amphibious landings, land force manoeuvre, urban operations, air operations, maritime operations and Special Forces activities.