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Exercise Talisman Sabre Live-Fire Activity in Shoalwarter Bay Training Area

Section Chief from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), Sergeant Lewan Patrick poses in front of a United States Marine Corps M777 howitzer during the Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023 firepower demonstration at Shoalwater Bay Training Area, Queensland. *** Local Caption *** Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023 is being conducted across northern Australia from 22 July to 4 August. More than 30,000 military personnel from 13 nations will directly participate in Talisman Sabre 2023, primarily in Queensland but also in Western Australia, the Northern Territory and New South Wales. Talisman Sabre is the largest Australia-US bilaterally planned, multilaterally conducted exercise and a key opportunity to work with likeminded partners from across the region and around the world. Fiji, France, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, the United Kingdom, Canada and Germany are all participating in Talisman Sabre 2023 with the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand attending as observers. Occurring every two years, Talisman Sabre reflects the closeness of our alliance and strength of our enduring military relationship with the United States and also our commitment to working with likeminded partners in the region. Now in its tenth iteration, Talisman Sabre provides an opportunity to exercise our combined capabilities to conduct high-end, multi-domain warfare, to build and affirm our military-to-military ties and interoperability, and strengthen our strategic partnerships.

Seven nations have participated in a live-fire activity at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area as part of the largest ever iteration of Exercise Talisman Sabre in terms of geographic spread and number of participating nations.

The live-fire activity was conducted by members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and personnel from the United States, Japan, and the Republic of Korea, with support from personnel from France, Germany and New Zealand.

Developing the ADF’s ability to precisely strike targets at longer-range is one of the six priority areas for immediate action identified by the Australian Government in response to the Defence Strategic Review. The live-fire activity included the following strike capabilities:

  • A United States High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). The Australian Government is proceeding with its intention, announced in January 2023, to acquire the HIMARS system
  • The Republic of Korea’s K-9 self-propelled howitzers. A K239 Chunmoo self-propelled Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) will also be test-fired during the course of Talisman Sabre
  • Australian and United States M-777A2 towed artillery systems
  • A range of United States air capabilities including the: F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, AC-130 gunship, UH-1 Viper and AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters.

The live-fire activity is one aspect of Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023 which also includes amphibious landings, ground force manoeuvre, air combat and maritime operations and logistics activities. This year more than 30,000 military personnel from 13 nations are participating in Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023.

In an Australian-military first, the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) conducted a live-fire demonstration of a Type 12 Surface-to-Ship Missile (SSM) off the Australian east coast this morning.

Exercise Talisman Sabre commenced yesterday with an opening ceremony on-board HMAS Canberra and will run until 4 August.  

Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister for Defence, the Hon Matt Thistlethwaite MP:

“Talisman Sabre is an important opportunity to enhance our interoperability with partner nations within the region and beyond.

“This live-fire event is the result of an enormous effort from thousands of people, working together on logistics and planning, covering everything from bringing large military equipment to Australia from the northern hemisphere, to ensuring we have enough food to sustain everyone on the ground in a remote location.

“Today’s demonstration was a fantastic opportunity to enhance the complexity of our training and represents a major step forward in our advanced capabilities cooperation with partner nations.”

Defence Media: media@defence.gov.auAuthorised by The Hon Matt Thistlethwaite MP, Assistant Minister for Defence, Assistant Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Australia.

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