July 15, 2019 – Training and preparation for battle have been the focus aboard HMAS Canberra during the early days of Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 2019.
Following a departure from the Port of Cairns, Queensland, British Royal Marine Commandos joined the Australian Army and United States Marines Corps in intensive rehearsals for the upcoming amphibious landing.
Canberra’s Ship’s Company and embarked forces conducted extensive helicopter launch exercises to ensure landing parties will be able to embark swiftly and safely from the ship. As these operations can occur at any time of day, the rehearsals were held day and night.
After being given their ammunition and a brief by the Navy assault guides, soldiers from the three nations boarded helicopters from Canberra’s deck.
Corporal Cat Smith said there were several moving parts between the flight deck and vehicle deck, making it a complex exercise worth practicing.
“The British and American Marines have been a pleasure to train; they have been keen to learn and follow instructions,” Corporal Smith said.
“Safety is key during these operations and preparation is important.”
Helicopter launches are a single component of the amphibious assault taking place on 16 July at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area, Queensland, with a coordinated effort by all personnel embarked in Canberra required to deliver troops, weapons, vehicles and equipment in tight timeframes.