Preparation for Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021 is well underway, with up to 1,800 foreign military personnel arriving in Australia from the United States, Canada, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom throughout June and July. France, India and Indonesia will participate as observer nations.
Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Greg Bilton, said the scale of this year’s exercise will be reduced due to COVID-19, with around 17,000 personnel in total expected to participate.
“We will also have part of the Marine Rotational Force – Darwin participating, as well as naval and air assets exercising exclusively off-shore,” Lieutenant General Bilton said.
“The ADF, together with our United States and visiting partner nations, are committed to delivering a safe exercise, not just for the personnel involved, but the community as well.
“The exercise is fundamental to our alliance with the United States and critical to maintaining ADF combat readiness.”
The exercise will take place at a range of Defence bases and non-Defence training areas, predominantly across central and northeast Queensland, but also off the east coast of Australia, including:
- Charters Towers;
- ADF Townsville Field Training Area (TFTA);
- Stanage Bay peninsular;
- ADF Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA);
- Ingham region;
- Forest Beach;
- ADF Cowley Beach Training Area (CBTA);
- RAAF Scherger;
- Evans Head
Townsville will see increased military presence over this time, mainly at Lavarack Barracks and RAAF Townsville, and on the roads between there and Charters Towers.
“Talisman Sabre would not be possible without the cooperation and ongoing support of the local community, councils, state authorities – including Chief Health Officers – and traditional owners,” Lieutenant General Bilton said.
“Defence will keep the public well-informed of planned activities and movements, implement COVIDSafe plans agreed to with the states and territories to mitigate the risks of COVID-19.”
With agreement from relevant state and territory authorities, the majority of international forces will quarantine in either Bladin Village in the Northern Territory or ADF managed hotels in Queensland. A small number will also quarantine in ADF managed hotels in New South Wales.
International forces will arrive gradually, in tranches of up to several hundred, from early June to mid-July.
The Aviation Studio is looking forward to covering Talisman Sabre 2021 movements over June and July. You can see our coverage of the 2019 iteration of the exercise here.