Coral Sea: Exercise Talisman Saber 2013 Ends with a Bang

Exercise Talisman Saber 2013 Ends with a Bang

The upgraded Anzac Class frigate HMAS Perth ended Exercise Talisman Saber 2013 with a bang—lots of bangs actually—as she participated in a joint live fire exercise at Townsend Island, off Queensland.

Perth fired around 100 rounds from its 5-inch gun, in an exercise that coordinated live fire from Australian Army artillery and Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters, Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18 strike aircraft and U.S. Marine Cobra and Apache gunships and Harrier fighters along with U.S. Air Force bombers.

This final live fire exercise came after rehearsals on the two days prior, as participating units practiced individually before coming together in a cooperative engagement.

HMAS Perth’s Commanding Officer Captain Lee Goddard was impressed with how Perth worked together with other units throughout the exercise.

 “This joint live fire exercise is a very complex activity and illustrates the level of coordination and interoperability that we have achieved over the 21 days of Exercise Talisman Saber.

“We fired a lot of rounds and I’m pleased to say we were right on target,” Captain Goddard said.

Perth has been in the Coral Sea participating in Exercise Talisman Saber, along with other Royal Australian Navy vessels including HMA Ships Choules, Sydney, Waller, Tarakan and Sirius, and helicopters from 816 and 808 Squadrons.

Also involved in Talisman Saber were the Spanish combat support ship ESPS Cantabria and ships from the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet, including the USS George Washington aircraft carrier strike group and an expeditionary strike group led by Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard.

Exercise Talisman Saber (15 July – 5 August) is a major bilateral exercise designed to improve training and interoperability between Australian and United States military forces and other government agencies.

Around 28,000 Australian and U.S. personnel took part in the 21-day exercise, which was conducted in the Coral Sea and military training areas in central and northern Queensland. Supporting activities also occurred in the waters of the Timor and Arafura Seas, and throughout Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Press Release, August 12, 2013; Image: Australian Navy