Exercise Talisman Sabre 21 has officially commenced with an opening ceremony held at RAAF Base Amberley today. Australia’s largest bilateral exercise with the United States will see 17,000 personnel deploy from the two countries. Held over the course of two weeks, the high-end warfighting exercise — currently in its 9th iteration — will feature a variety of land, air and sea based exercises.
The opening ceremony saw the welcoming and acknowledgement of country from Group Captain Iain Carty with addresses for Australia and the United States from the Hon Peter Dutton MP and Mr Gavin Sundwall respectively. The exercise was officially declared open following the unfurling of the Talisman Sabre flag by Chief of the Defence Force, General Angus Campbell and Captain Matthew Ort.
Providing the backdrop were three of the RAAF’s fast jet fleet with No. 1 Squadron F/A-18F A44-210, No. 6 Squadron EA-18G A46-302 and No. 77 Squadron F-35A A35-036. This will be the first time that the F-35A Lightning II has participated in Exercise Talisman Sabre with aircraft set to be operated out of their home at RAAF Base Williamtown.
Additional forces participating in this year’s iteration include Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom alongside observer nations France, Germany, India and Indonesia.
“Talisman Sabre demonstrates that United States and Australian militaries can quickly join forces and execute highly complex, multi-domain operations in a challenging environment.”Major General Jake Ellwood, Commander of the Australian Defence Force’s Deployable Joint Force Headquarters
Whilst the exercise officially opened today, operations will slowly ramp up over the coming days with peak operations from the 17th to 31st of July. Faced with the challenge of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s exercise is considerably downscaled with all international military participating undertaking mandatory quarantine on arrival.
Want to read more about previous iterations of Talisman Sabre? Head over here to read about fuelling up with the 60th AMW during Talisman Sabre 19.
The Aviation Studio would like to extend their thanks to the Royal Australian Air Force and Defence Media for facilitating this event.