SHOALWATER BAY, QLD, Australia -- The U.S. Armed Forces, along with the Australian Defence Force (ADF), New Zealand Defence Force and Japan Defence Force, conducted high mobility artillery rocket system training in Queensland, Australia, during Exercise Talisman Sabre (TS) 2019, July 8, 2019.
TS19 is a U.S. Indo-Pacific Command-sponsored exercise that trains USINDOPACOM and the ADF across hi-end, mid-intensity warfighting scenarios involving a Combined Task Force.
“It’s an opportunity to showcase a capability the U.S. is developing for the Pacific, which is a highly mobile rocket system,” said U.S. Marine Corps Col. Michael Roach, 12th Marines commanding officer. “More importantly, what I think we’ve gained is reinforcing interoperability and friendships between the U.S. and Australian alliance within the Pacific.”
TS19, which runs from late June to early August, is a bilateral military training exercise with more than 34,000 U.S. and Australian military personnel.
Roach said an exercise like this takes a great deal of planning. It happens every two years and is the culmination of American and Australian partners working together to train thousands of service members.
“I think the most important thing gained from exercises like Talisman Sabre is operating in a joint environment, having multiple systems, countries and services integrate and communicate with each other to achieve a unified goal,” Roach said.
The training demonstrated the insertion of aircraft and HIMARS belonging to the U.S. Army and Marine Corps under the command and control of the ADF.
HIMARS from both III Marine Expeditionary Force and 2nd Infantry Division, Division Artillery, with an element from the 17th Fires Brigade demonstrated the flexibility and lethality of the joint-force during TS19. U.S. Marine Corps KC-130J and U.S. Air Force C-130s carried U.S. Army and Marine Corps HIMARS to execute a realistic mission.
This aerial insertion artillery raid gave commanders the ability to rapidly deploy and extend range precision strike capability to shape the battle space and engage high-value targets.
“It’s not all the time that we actually get to do these things, but the fact that we’re out here getting to shoot these rockets, having a good time with everyone else, is something that we are taking to heart and honoring,” said U.S. Marine Corps LCpl. Brice Bowles, 5th Battalion, 11th Marines M142 HIMARS motor vehicle operator.
Exercises like TS19 provide realistic, relevant training necessary to maintain and strengthen regional security, peace and stability. TS19 also provides effective and intense training to ensure U.S. Forces are combat ready, capable, interoperable, and deployable on short notice.