Friday, July 28, 2023

Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023 - Plenty of Action at Lakeside Airpark (Bloomsbury) - USMC Ospreys, Vipers, Venoms - Plus Japanese Army CH-47 Chinook - Plus More!

Across Wednesday 26 July and Thursday 27 July, contingents of United States Marine Corps (USMC) and other World forces, completed an exercise to capture the private Lakeside Airpark Airfield at Bloomsbury in the Whitsundays, against opposing forces, as part of the joint Military Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023 (TS23).

Bowen-based plane spotter James K was on hand at and around Lakeside Airpark to capture some great photos of the practice assault, which was part of a Talisman Sabre force-on-force exercise by troops from the U.S., Australia and eight other nations operating across 17,000 square miles.

He was able to capture the arrival of troops including from 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, on board a pair of United States Marine Corps (USMC) Bell Boeing MV-22B Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft 168243 / EP-00 and 168660 / EP-11 both of the Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 (VMM-265) "Dragons" which looked to fly from and back to the United States Navy (USN) amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA-6).

A pair of unidentified United States Marine Corps (USMC) Bell AH-1Z Cobra attack helicopters (Code 42) and (Code 43) both of VMM-265 kept an eye on proceedings.

While later, Bell UH-1Y Venom (Super Huey) helicopters 168503 (Code 39) and 168784 (Code 34), both of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 (Rein.), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and assigned to the U.S. Navy Sailors amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD-18) departed Lakeside Airpark for the ship.

And down at the beach at nearby Midge Point, there was a US Navy Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) (hovercraft).

Back at Lakeside Airpark on Thursday, United States Marine Corps (USMC) Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter 161993 / YN-19 loaded the personnel dropped off the previous day and returned them to the USS America.

Later, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (Japanese Army) Kawasaki CH-47JA Chinook helicopter JG-(5)2979 (Code HGPVI) of 106 Hikotai, loaded and ferried personnel out of Lakeside Airpark.

It is believed the Chinook came from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s light aircraft carrier ship (formerly helicopter carrier) JS Izumo (DDH-183).

Sincere thanks to James K for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

Photos taken by James Kirk  ©
Additional photos from US Department of Defense

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