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Hornets and Tigers join huge Talisman Sabre live-fire exercise

written by Adam Thorn | July 19, 2021

Two FA-18AB Hornet aircraft, conduct a flypast over the Townsville Strand in Townsville, Queensland, during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021. (Lauren Larking / Defence)

Australian Tigers, Classic Hornets and Chinooks took part in a live-fire exercise at Shoalwater Bay Training Area, Queensland as part of the ongoing Talisman Sabre on Sunday.

Strikes were conducted from sea, land and air onto Townshend Island and Pyri Pyri as the bilateral training exercise with the US continued.

The Australian aircraft joined AH-1Z Cobra attack helicopters, F-35s and UH-1Y Iroquois used by the US.

Major General Jake Ellwood, Commander of Australia’s Deployable Joint Force Headquarters, said, “On Friday we saw the first-ever Australian firing of a Patriot air defence missile system, which was just tremendous and a real privilege to see in action.

“And today, we stepped up the complexity of training with combined strikes involving several of our participating nations.


“In the coming days our forces will shift gears again and advance up the Queensland coast to conduct amphibious landings, maritime and air warfare training, and much more.”

This year’s Talisman Sabre will involve 17,000 personnel from countries including Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea and the UK alongside Australia-based personnel from India, Indonesia, France and Germany.

All international military participants taking part in the exercise onshore have undertaken the mandatory 14 days’ quarantine.

It will also coincide with the 70th anniversary of the signing of the ANZUS Treaty and the 10th anniversary of the announcement of the US Force Posture Initiatives.

Brigadier General Eric Strong said last week that Talisman Sabre showcased the closeness of the Australian and US alliance and the strength of the Joint Force.

“For over 100 years, from the battlefields of France to the mountains of Afghanistan, Australians and Americans have fought alongside each other in war and trained together in peace,” BG Strong said.

“Talisman Sabre builds on those foundations, prepares for our collective future and demonstrates our Nations’ and service members’ continued commitment to each another and our alliance.

“Bilateral exercises help maintain and build trust and interoperability among key allies through shared experiences and tough, realistic training.”

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