Australia’s largest bilateral military exercise with the United States (US), Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021 (TS21), has officially commenced on Wednesday 14 July with the opening ceremony held at RAAF Base Amberley.
And with activities set to take place in the nearby Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA), spotted arriving into Rockhampton Airport, also on Wednesday 14 July, were six Australian Army helicopters which flew down from their Townsville base via Mackay Airport.
Three Australian Army Boeing CH-47F 'Foxtrot' Chinook helicopters arrived - they were identified as A15-302 as "Brahman", A15-304 as "Chainsaw 363" and A15-307 as "Chainsaw 357".
And three Australian Army Eurocopter (ARH) Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters A38-004 and A38-006 both arrived as "Angry", while A38-011 arrived as "Ghost 42".
Meanwhile, also noted arriving into Rockhampton Airport, also on Wednesday 14 July, was Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Beech B350 Super King Air turboprop A32-675 as "Dingo 14" flew down from Townsville to RAAF Base Amberley before it then flew up to Rockhampton Airport.
Fellow RAAF Super King Air A32-439 as "Dingo 13" flew from Townsville to Amberley and back to Townsville.
Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021 (TS21) is the ninth iteration of the exercise and consists of a Field Training Exercise incorporating force preparation (logistic) activities, amphibious landings, ground force manoeuvre, urban operations, air combat and maritime operations.
It is the largest bilateral combined training activity between the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and United States (US) military. It is designed to test the respective forces in planning and conducting Combined and Joint Task Force operations and improve the combat readiness and interoperability between Australian and US forces.
TS21 exercise activities are planned to occur in Queensland including in the Charters Towers region and ADF Townsville Field Training Area (TFTA); coastal locations including Bundaberg, Stanage Bay peninsular, ADF Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA), Mackay, Bowen, Proserpine, Ingham region, Lucinda, Forest Beach, ADF Cowley Beach Training Area (CBTA) and RAAF Scherger, as well as Evans Head in NSW.
TS21 will run from late June to mid-August 2021, this time frame includes the initial surge of equipment and people and their subsequent departure after the exercise. Exercise activities will peak during 18-31 July 2021.
We hope to bring you heaps of photos and reports!
Sincere thanks to the local plane spotters for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!
Photos taken by Steve Vit ©