The United States’ Expeditionary Strike Group 7’s forward ships have reached Australia as part of Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021.
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Throughout the exercise, the Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) will undertake operational training alongside friends in the Royal Australian Navy as well as Canadian, Japanese and Korean naval contingents. It is hoped that the joint training will support the interoperability and joint-readiness of the navies in the Indo-Pacific.
The commander of ESG 7, Rear Admiral Chris Engdahl, welcomed the opportunity to undertake the training, which will be critical in ensuring the long-term presence of a rules based order in the region.
“Emerging events in the Indo-Pacific region underscore the importance of presence to ensure a rules-based international maritime order,” RADM Engdahl said.
“Talisman Sabre allows the US, alongside partners and allies, to further enhance our ability to respond to any contingency as part of a joint or combined effort in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region.”
Among the ESG is the amphibious ready group (ARG), which includes the USS America, the transport dock ship USS New Orleans and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown.
Throughout Talisman Sabre, the navies will be testing their ability to operate in warfighting scenarios, including air defence operations.
Commanding officer of the US 31 MEU based out of Okinawa, Colonel Mike Nakonieczny confirmed that it was important for such training to continue to ensure ongoing freedom in the Indo-Pacific.
“The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and the America Expeditionary Strike Group have been a cohesive unit from the beginning of the deployment,” COL Nakonieczny said.
“As we further our naval integration we also seek to build enduring, mutually beneficial relationships and invest in training with like-minded partners and allies throughout the region.”