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Exercise Talisman Sabre 23 underway in north Australia.

| 2023

The Top End provides a world-class airspace for Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023, where Australian and U.S. aviators can continue to build upon partnerships and interoperability in an agile, high-end and multi-domain environment. This is the tenth iteration of Exercise Talisman Sabre and will see up to 30,000 personnel and 13 nations take part.

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Exercise Talisman Sabre 23 underway in north Australia Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18F Super Hornets in the Ordnance Loading Area at RAAF Base Tindal, Northern Territory, during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023 (Picture source: Leading Aircraftswoman Annika Smit)

To mark the commencement of the exercise, Air Commodore Peter Robinson, Commander Air Task Group, held a press conference at RAAF Base Darwin alongside Colonel Brian Baldwin, US Air Force Commander of the 13th Air Expeditionary Wing, focusing on the combined training and relationship-building opportunities. For the air component of Talisman Sabre, around 3,000 people will deploy to RAAF Bases from Richmond to Darwin, Tindal, Scherger and Curtin, with approximately 100 RAAF and USAF aircraft.

Speaking to the media, Air Commodore Robinson said that Talisman Sabre focuses on crucial relationship-building training to ensure the global rules-based order is upheld: “The Top End provides an amazing amount of air space for these types of high-end warfighting exercises. The exercise is held over vast distances and we rely on the air-to-air refuelling assets, the KC-30 and KC-46, command and control from our E-7A Airborne Early Warning platforms, and then our fast jet platforms, including our F-35s, EA-18Gs, F/A-18 Super Hornets and also F-22 Raptors from the United States.”

Exercise Talisman Sabre 23 will run until 4 August 2023, testing Air Force’s ability to deploy to forward operating bases and sustain high-intensity air operations with the focus on large force employment of air assets in the Top End.

As Colonel Baldwin explains, this provides the USAF with a chance to focus on training high-end, multi-domain threats and fights that are difficult to do over the east coast: “This is the biggest, most complex Talisman Sabre we’ve undertaken, which brings its own challenges but also gives us an opportunity to keep developing the inner connective tissue between our two countries. Australia affords us tremendous opportunities, such as Delamere Air Weapons Range, to work on our interoperability and how we can be more resilient to threats to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

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