Military personnel from the US and the Australian Defence Force (ADF) are preparing to participate in the forthcoming combined military exercise, code-named Talisman Sabre 2015, in Australia.
Scheduled to take place from early to mid-July, the exercise is the principal Australia and the US bilateral training activity aimed at the planning and conduct of mid-intensity 'high-end' warfighting.
The exercise will be held simultaneously within the Shoalwater Bay Training Area, near Rockhampton in Central Queensland, and at Fog Bay, south west of Darwin. The training will incorporate force preparation activities, Special Forces activities, amphibious landings, parachuting, land force manoeuvre, and urban operations.
The participants will also conduct air operations, maritime operations, and the coordinated firing of live ammunition and explosive ordnance from small arms, artillery, naval vessels, and aircraft.
In addition to the two militaries, the exercise will also see participation of defence forces from New Zealand and Japan.
Australian Joint Operations chief vice-admiral David Johnston said the inclusion of the New Zealand and Japanese soldiers would help the ADF to deepen its engagement with close defence partners in the region, but will not change the bilateral nature of the exercise between Australia and the US.
Johnston said: "The primary aim of the exercise remains improving Australia-US readiness and the way we operate together through combined training.
"While Exercise Talisman Sabre remains Australia's premier bilateral exercise with the United States, it provides an excellent opportunity for the ADF to practice operating with the New Zealand Defence Force and JSDF in a realistic training environment.
"There will also be a broader International Observer programme with participation from foreign officials."
While 40 personnel from the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) will work with the US forces, New Zealand's contingent consisting of more than 500 personnel, including ships and aircraft, will operate as part of the Australian forces.
Prior to this iteration, a total of five Talisman Sabre exercises have been held in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2013.
Image: Soldiers from the third Royal Australian Regiment patrol during a simulated battle at Exercise Talisman Sabere 2005 at Shoalwater Bay, Australia. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by interior communications electrician second-class Fred Brier.