Serious shootout in Shoalwater Bay

Seven nations have participated in a live-fire activity at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area as part of the largest* ever iteration of Exercise Talisman Sabre.

United States Army 17th Field Artillery Brigade High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) during the Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023 firepower demonstration at Shoalwater Bay Training Area, Queensland. Photo by Corporal Jacob Joseph.CAPTION: A K9A1 self-propelled Howitzer from the 11th Field Artillery Unit of the Korean Marine Corps (above, photo by Leading Aircraftman Adam Abela) and United States Army 17th Field Artillery Brigade HIMARS (right, photo by Corporal Jacob Joseph) fire during a multi-national live firepower demonstration at Shoalwater Bay Training Area during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023.

The live-fire activity was conducted by members of the Australian Defence Force and personnel from the United States, Japan, and the Republic of Korea, with support from personnel from France, Germany and New Zealand.

Developing the ADF’s ability to precisely strike targets at longer range is one of the six priority areas for immediate action identified by the Australian government in response to the Defence Strategic Review.

The live-fire activity included the following strike capabilities:

  • United States High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). The Australian government is proceeding with its intention, announced in January 2023, to acquire the HIMARS system.
  • Republic of Korea’s K-9 self-propelled howitzer.
    • A K239 Chunmoo self-propelled Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) will also be test-fired during the course of Talisman Sabre.
  • US Marine Corps 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit fires an M777 howitzer at Shoalwater Bay. Photo by Leading Aircraftman Adam Abela.
    US Marine Corps 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit fires an M777 howitzer at Shoalwater Bay. Photo by Leading Aircraftman Adam Abela.

    Australian and United States M-777A2 towed artillery systems.

  • A range of United States air capabilities including the F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, AC-130 gunship, UH-1 Viper and AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters.

The live-fire activity is one aspect of Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023, which also includes amphibious landings, ground force manoeuvre, air combat and maritime operations and logistics activities.

This year more than 30,000 military personnel from 13 nations are participating in Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023.

Assistant Minister for Defence Matt Thistlethwaite said Talisman Sabre was an important opportunity to enhance Australia’s interoperability with partner nations within the region and beyond.

“Today’s demonstration was a fantastic opportunity to enhance the complexity of our training and represents a major step forward in our advanced capabilities cooperation with partner nations,” Mr Thistlethwaite said.

JSDF soldiers launch a Type 12 Surface-to-Ship Missile at Beecroft Weapons Range, New South Wales during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023. Photo by Petty Officer Peter Thompson.
JSDF soldiers launch a Type 12 Surface-to-Ship Missile at Beecroft Weapons Range, New South Wales during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023. Photo by Petty Officer Peter Thompson.

“This live-fire event is the result of an enormous effort from thousands of people, working together on logistics and planning, covering everything from bringing large military equipment to Australia from the northern hemisphere, to ensuring we have enough food to sustain everyone on the ground in a remote location.”

In an Australian-military first, the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) also conducted a live-fire demonstration of a Type 12 Surface-to-Ship Missile (SSM) from the Australian east coast, in Jervis Bay.

 

*largest ever iteration of Exercise Talisman Sabre in terms of geographic spread and number of participating nations. Previous iterations were equally as large in terms of number of human participants.

 

 


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Posted by Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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