US Navy to Assist in Removing Bombs from Australian Waters
The US Navy expressed willingness to assist Australia in taking out bombs, which were mistakenly dropped into the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park a week ago, Reuters informed today.
During the exercise Talisman Saber, performed near south Australian coast, the US aircraft were pushed to drop the bombs because they had identified civilian ships close to their primary target.
The decision on removing the bombs was made by the Australian Government, said Vice Admiral Scott Swift, Commander of US 7th fleet.
The admiral, positioned on board USS George Washington which is currently about 200km off the coast, said that , once that determination has been made, his fleet will provide efforts to remediate the problem.
The Bombs, dropped into the reef, are lying in 50 to 60 meters of water depth.
The Talisman Saber is a joint US-Australian exercise which involves about 30.000 personnel.
The exercise is taking place at designated ADF training facilities throughout Queensland, and in adjacent maritime areas of the Coral Sea.
Military personnel will also take some time to redeploy post completion of the exercise on 5 August. Additionally, US military forces may be taking the opportunity to conduct some unilateral training on Australian ranges both pre and post the exercise.
NavalToday Staff, July 23, 2013; Image: Talisman Saber