Troops test capabilities
TOWNSVILLE defence personnel are flexing their tactical and war fighting muscles in the air, on land and by sea as part of the region’s largest combined forces training activity.
The seventh Talisman Sabre series of exercises began on July 1 and is a major Australian and United States military training exercise involving over 30,000 troops focused on the planning and conduct of midintensity “high end” warfighting.
The Townsville Bulletin embedded with Battle Group Cannan and Battle Group Pegasus in various locations across the Shoalwater Bay training area over the past three days.
Speaking from an undisclosed location within the training area, Commander 3rd Brigade Brigadier Chris Field said planning for the coalition training exercise began 18 months ago.
“This is a great opportunity to be stretched and test ourselves out,” he said.
“I know there are many areas where I personally can improve and also by bringing an organisation of this size together there are opportunities for us to learn from each other.
“Each day goes through quite fast in terms of activities but each of them is used as learning opportunity and really is a great privilege.”
Brig Field on Sunday said his troops had planned for 17 days to get into their tactical position to work against a fictional enemy, played by personnel from the Darwin and Adelaide- based 1st Brigade.
“We are the offence and we are empowered against an enemy that is a peer to us,” he said.
“They have similar capabilities to us and we have to work against them.
“They are a thinking enemy who do things to make our life difficult and we’re trying to do things opposite.”
Out of 5000 personnel in or supporting 3rd Brigade, up to 15 per cent are Army Reserves.
“We have given more than 500 of them the enhanced F88 weapons to give ( the Reserves) the opportunity to have the latest weapons, because having the latest equipment is really the opportunity to show the Reservists that we really care for them and they are a big part of our team,” he said.
The exercise is expected to conclude next week.