Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles has officially kicked off Australia’s largest bilateral military exercise with the US, Exercise Talisman Sabre, which officially commences today (21 July) with an opening ceremony onboard HMAS Canberra.
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The Deputy Prime Minister is set to be joined by US Secretary of the Navy, Carlos Del Toro, for the official opening at Sydney’s Fleet Base East.
Over the next two weeks, 13 nations will participate in high-end multi-domain warfighting across sea, land, air, cyber and space.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles said: “This year, more than 30,000 personnel from 13 participating nations and four observer nations will take part in Exercise Talisman Sabre. The scale and design of the exercise will provide more depth, complexity and challenge for our defence forces as we work together to build our defence cooperation.”
Now in its 10th iteration, 2023 is the largest Exercise Talisman Sabre in terms of its geographical area and the number of participating partners.
The exercise aims to enhance interoperability and develop strong relationships between participating military forces. It will involve field training exercises, including force preparation and logistics activities, amphibious landings, ground force manoeuvres, air combat and maritime operations.
“It is a privilege to officially open Talisman Sabre 2023 and welcome all participating nations. I look forward to welcoming Secretary Austin to Australia next week for AUSMIN, which will occur on the sidelines of this important bilateral exercise,” Minister Marles added.
The US Secretary of the Navy, the Honourable Carlos Del Toro, added: “The scope of this exercise and the opportunity it provides for all of us to train above, at, and below the sea, as well as ashore, increases our ability to work together in the countering challenges we may face here in the Indo-Pacific region.”
Talisman Sabre 2023 will involve more than 30,000 military personnel deploying across Queensland, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and NSW. For the first time, exercises will also take part around Norfolk Island.
Chief of Joint Operations Lieutenant General Greg Bilton said: “Every nation who has joined us in Australia for Talisman Sabre will integrate operations across air, land, maritime, space and cyber domains, challenging our defence forces to synchronise military efforts from the tactical to strategic levels.
“Talisman Sabre 23 steps up the complexity of the exercise in a range of areas, including a much larger geographic footprint which will test the logistical aspects of the combined force. We look forward to undertaking these new challenges with our very capable partners,” LTGEN Bilton added.
US Army Major General Jered P. Helwig, Commanding General, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, echoed these sentiments, saying: “Talisman Sabre 2023 demonstrates the joint force’s ability to integrate with allies and partners and rapidly deploy large-scale logistics at a critical time in the Indo-Pacific.
“The Australian and US alliance is critical to enhancing regional security and stability. The complexity in scope and operation of this exercise across all of our warfighting functions demonstrates the power of the alliance and like-minded partnerships in the region,” MAJGEN Helwig explained.
In addition to the US, forces from Canada, Fiji, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Republic of Korea, Tonga and the United Kingdom will participate in the exercise. Personnel from India, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand are attending as observers.
Next week, the Deputy Prime Minister will travel to Queensland with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III to visit Australian and US service members participating in Exercise Talisman Sabre.