Special forces gear up for the unknown

Special operations force elements from Australia, Papua New Guinea and the United States came together at Holsworthy Barracks in Sydney from July 10 – 20 to prepare for Exercise Talisman Sabre.

CAPTIONAn Australian Army special forces soldier from 2nd Commando Regiment and a United States Army soldier from 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) prepare for a static-line parachuting training jump side-by-side at RAAF Base Richmond in Sydney. All photos by Corporal Cameron Pegg.

For some, Australia was a whole new experience, while others took the opportunity to renew old friendships.

Master Sergeant M from Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group, said arriving in Sydney for force integration training was like coming home.

“This is my third Talisman Sabre,” said Master Sergeant M.

“I’ve worked a lot with 2nd Commando Regiment and with the Special Air Service Regiment, where I did an exchange posting.

“The rest of my team are all new to Australia, but they’ll get plenty of time here because Australian and US special forces work closely together.”

CAPTIONAustralian and United States special forces soldiers prepare to board a US Air Force MC-130J Commando aircraft assigned to 353rd Special Operations Wing before jumping into Jervis Bay as part of final preparations for Exercise Talisman Sabre.

In preparation for a busy few weeks Green Berets from 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) conducted static-line and military free-fall parachuting as well as sniper training alongside Australian Army soldiers from 2nd Commando Regiment.

Other elements from 2nd Commando Regiment started their final preparations with an early morning swim.

CAPTIONA US Army special forces soldier from 1st Special Forces Group prepares to land at RAAF Base Richmond in Sydney after exiting a US Air Force MC-130J Commando aircraft as part of static-line parachuting training activity.

A US Air Force MC-130J Commando aircraft from the 353rd Special Operations Wing in Okinawa, Japan, dispatched the commandos via a static-line parachute insertion into the chilly waters of Jervis Bay in southern New South Wales.

Officer Commanding of Alpha Commando Company, Major M, said he was looking forward to the jump as he prepared at RAAF Base Richmond.

“As a strike and recovery capability, we need to be ready for any scenario on Talisman Sabre,” Major ‘M’ said.

“We’re all looking forward to the challenges ahead and working closely with the US special forces teams out here to exchange skills and continue to learn each other’s training, techniques and procedures.”

Six Papua New Guinea Defence Force soldiers from the Long Range Reconnaissance Unit (LRRU) joined 1st Commando Regiment special forces soldiers at Holsworthy Barracks to prepare for Talisman Sabre.

“1st Commando Regiment works closely with the LRRU in PNG, so getting to host them here and work-up to Talisman Sabre side-by-side is a great opportunity,” Major J, Officer Commanding of 1st Commando Company, said.

“We’ll deploy up to north Queensland in the coming days and conduct a variety of training serials together.

“I think for the LRRU team this is their first Talisman Sabre working with us so it’s all going to be new … but we’re all in the same boat because nobody knows what’s coming at us in the Talisman Sabre scenario.”

During Exercise Talisman Sabre, special operations training activities are being conducted in NSW, Queensland and offshore.


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