After more than 18 hours of nonstop flying, 271 U.S. and Australian paratroopers descended upon Shoalwater Bay Training Area in eastern Queensland July 17 from four U.S. C-17 Globemasters as part of Talisman Sabre 2011.
Talisman Sabre is a U.S.-led, Australian-supported biannual exercise to improve combat training, readiness and interoperability across the spectrum of military operations from conventional conflict to peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance efforts.
The paratroopers, assigned to the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, and 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment prepared for the jump at Joint Base Elemendorf-Richardson, Alaska.
“This jump is designed to demonstrate the capability of the U.S. military to airlift a battalion anywhere in the Pacific theatre,” said U.S. Army Master Sgt. Adam Smith, lead planner for the drop from the Exercise Division, United States Army Pacific.
“When they land, first thing they are going to do is go to assembly areas and wait for minimum force requirements to consolidate to engage the enemy in this scenario,” added Smith.
The success of the jump highlighted the multifaceted global reach quality of the U.S. military. Each service demonstrated its unique capabilities that allow the responsiveness of the U.S. to be a great asset to allies and threat to enemies.
The four C-17s linked up with KC-135 Stratotankers and KC-10 Extenders twice over the Pacific for aerial refueling. Aerial refueling is the backbone of America’s global reach capability allowing aircraft to remain airborne for extended periods of time, expanding their range.
“The U.S. is our most important strategic partner, and their participation in this exercise despite their involvement in multiple operations around the world is an indication of how important they see this exercise,” said Australian Army Lt. Gen. Ash Power, Chief of Joint Operations for the Australian Defence Force.
“Demonstrating the U.S.’s strategic capability to move from one continent through the night to land in another continent is an invaluable asset that we are happy to assist them with,” said Power.
In addition to this capability, Talisman Sabre has given the U.S. and Australian militaries the opportunity to practice vital skills together including amphibious landings, call for fire with mortars and close air support, bare base aerial port operations, urban operations, air-to-air combat and overall command and control. The exercise is scheduled to end July 26.
Source: United States Air Force