DARWIN, Australia --
U.S. and Australian forces showcased equipment and personnel at Darwin Showgrounds July 5 during the 2015 Talisman Sabre Open Day, kicking off the area’s participation in the bilateral exercise.
Members of the local community gathered around equipment displays and spoke with uniformed personnel of both nations to get an interactive understanding of military operations that will be used in the biennial exercise.
U.S. Marine Sgt. Donavon Baldwin, a member of Marine Rotational Force in Darwin and an artillery equipment subject matter expert at Open Day, highlighted the importance of the U.S. and Australian alliance on display at the event and in the exercise.
“We want to be able to work together as if we’re one team and so in order to do that we have to train like one team,” Baldwin said. “We are out here in conjunction with the Australians in order to build that relationship bond.”
Darwin is one of several locations in Australia where Talisman Sabre operations are taking place, including Rockhampton, Amberley, Canberra, Enoggera, Fog Bay, the maritime areas of the Coral Sea; and Australian ranges including the Bradshaw, Shoalwater and Townsville Field Training Areas.
Royal Australian Navy Commodore Brenton Smyth, Headquarters Northern Command commander, underscored the importance of having Talisman Sabre operations in the Darwin area for the first time.
“This provides us a major opportunity for our defence personnel … to operate in a combined environment that is unique,” Smyth said. “It provides an opportunity for the Darwin community and the Northern Territory government to showcase the unique capabilities of the exercise areas that we have here. The opportunity for us today is to say thank you to the Darwin community for allowing us to conduct exercise operations.”
U.S. Marine Brig. Gen. Paul Kennedy, 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade commander, also spoke at the event and emphasized the strong alliance between the U.S. and Australia.
“For almost 100 years we’ve been operating side by side with the armed forces of Australia,” Kennedy said. “When a crisis erupts, whether it’s in your backyard or if it’s someplace where we have mutual friends, we’re going to come and operate as a team, and whoever stands in our way better be careful.”
About 30,000 U.S. and Australian personnel will participate in the exercise throughout the Pacific region stretching from the Californian coast to Australia. Talisman Sabre is a jointly sponsored exercise by the U.S. Pacific Command and Australian Defence Force Headquarters Joint Operations Command, which will run through July 19.