The largest Australian-led amphibious landing and offensive assault since the Second World War has taken place off the central Queensland coast – a demonstration of the growing power projection and amphibious capabilities of the Australian Army.
Soldiers from Australia, the US, UK, Japan and New Zealand disembarked from a Combined Expeditionary Strike Group and assaulted Langham Beach, near Stanage Bay, before moving into an extended operational zone across the region.
Major General Roger Noble, Deputy Chief of Joint Operations for the Australian Defence Force, said the amphibious assault was a key phase of Exercise Talisman Sabre, the largest military exercise to take place in Australia.
"Through exercises like Talisman Sabre, we demonstrate the strength, viability and endurance of the alliance between Australia and the US as well as the varying levels of interoperability between our services," MAJGEN Noble said.
MAJGEN Noble explained the importance of the amphibious landing in the nation's growing defence capability and force structure modernisation, saying, "Australia’s defence policy continues to be based on the three interconnected strategic interests of a secure, resilient Australia, with secure northern approaches and proximate sea lines of communications; a secure nearer region, encompassing maritime south-east Asia and south Pacific; and a stable Indo-Pacific region and rules-based global order."
Colonel Matt Sieber, Colonel Amphibious for Australia’s Deployable Joint Force Headquarters, from the United States Marine Corps, said the large-scale amphibious assault began three days ago as troops prepared for the assault and surveilled the enemy.
"Once the beachhead was secured, the amphibious assault group moved in, utilising amphibious assault vehicles, landing craft and simultaneous helicopter insertions into landing zones to come ashore," he said.
"The Stanage Bay township has opened to us for this amphibious landing; we will be moving to the Bowen area later on in this exercise, and both communities have been hugely supportive."
Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019 is the largest combined exercise undertaken by the Australian Defence Force, with participation of more than 34,000 personnel, 30 ships and 200 aircraft from across Australia, the US, New Zealand, the UK, Japan and Canada.