Agile operations during Talisman Sabre 23

  • Published
  • By Capt. Margaret Kealy-Machella
  • Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

The U.S. Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) executed agile operations and force generation training across the Northern Territory, Western Australia and the Indian Ocean during Talisman Sabre 2023.

RAAF Base Curtin, a remote airbase in the North West of Australia, activated for the exercise allows the demonstration of Air Force’s Agile Operations concepts.

Working together, the U.S. Air Force and RAAF operated side by side to sustain high-end, high-tempo, multidomain air missions including U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors, and RAAF F-35A Lightning IIs.

“We have both a real-time support function to enable the aircraft deployed here to fly, but at the same time we are working under a simulated high-threat environment,” said Wing Commander Lauren Flaherty, Curtin Air Base commander. “Talisman Sabre is really about exercising our training objects, opening an air base, operating that air base and projecting air power under all conditions.”

Generating and projecting bilateral fifth generation airpower from austere locations is a key element of agile operations, and an objective for both air forces in Talisman Sabre 23.

“Whether we're training at a Red Flag, or we're back for a Talisman Sabre or a Pitch Black, it is great just being here and seeing the Royal Australian Air Force execute the mission,” said Lt Col Paul Lopez, 199th Air Expeditionary Squadron commander. “We have a chance to share best practices and refine how we, as a team, generate, sustain and execute airpower at a scale that we've never seen before.”

This iteration of Talisman Sabre was the first to execute bilateral fifth generation aircraft sortie generation out of Curtin.

“The bilateral 5th Gen training missions generated out of the remote bare base location up at Curtin increase our interoperability in the air, on the ground, and for projecting power over the sea,” said Col. Brian Baldwin, 13th Air Expeditionary Wing commander. “The Top End has not only exceptional airspace to do this, but the bases across the Top End remain a key component of the Australian Defence Strategic Review. Our continued and expanded use of these bases develops Top End resiliency and highlights the additional infrastructure that is needed in the area for defence or humanitarian purposes.”

The training executed at Curtin provided U.S. Air Force and RAAF members a unique opportunity to respond to scenarios across a range of capabilities, from first responders to air field operations all while continuing to generate sorties.

“Our ability to execute agile operations and work as a cohesive team demonstrates our commitment to the region; our allies and partners can count on us, wherever they may be,” said Col. Brian Baldwin. “I know that we will further strengthen our combined capabilities to execute agile operations from bare bases through future iterations of Talisman Sabre.”

Talisman Sabre 23 runs from July 21 to August 4, 2023, and demonstrates the ability for the U.S. Air Force and RAAF to collectively generate and sustain, high-tempo air operations from airfields across Australia.