BIG GEORGE: The USS George Washington will be an imposing presence in Exercise Talisman Sabre 2015 after spending time wowing Brisbane.
BIG GEORGE: The USS George Washington will be an imposing presence in Exercise Talisman Sabre 2015 after spending time wowing Brisbane.

Size matters in Talisman Sabre

EXERCISE Talisman Sabre 2015 is quite simply the biggest thing you'll this year see on the water, on the land and in the air.

Talisman Sabre is a major Australian and United States military training activity.

TS15 is scheduled for mid-July over about 20 days, with force preparation and demobilisation activities being carried out in the weeks leading up to and after the exercise.

Focused on high end war fighting, this will be the sixth time the exercise has been conducted and will involve up to 30,000 Australian and US defence personnel.

TS15 will incorporate force preparation activities, Special Forces activities, amphibious landings, parachuting, land force manoeuvre, urban operations, air operations, maritime operations and the coordinated firing of live ammunition and explosive ordnance from small arms, artillery, naval vessels and aircraft.

For the first time, it will take place simultaneously in the Shoalwater Bay training area near Rockhampton and at Fog Bay, south west of Darwin.

In terms of sheer size alone, the star of the show is the USS George Washington, whose sailors enjoyed a quick break in Brisbane before heading up north to participate in Exercise Talisman Sabre.

The nuclear powered aircraft carrier that has attracted almost as much attention as its sailors stands 74.4 metres from the keel to the mast, about the height of a 24-storey building.

It stretches 333m from bow to stern - more than three football fields long - and the flight deck is 76.8m wide and equal to 18, 210 square metres.

Its displacement - a measure of the weight of the vessel - is approximately 87,966 metric tonnes and its top speed is 56kmh.

It also has most of the major services a small town would have, including a library, fitness facilities, a general store, barber, medical facilities, fire department and food services that prepare and serve 18,000 meals a day.

Exercise Talisman Sabre is the largest combined military exercise undertaken by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and provides invaluable experience to ADF personnel to improve combat training, readiness and interoperability, exposing participants to a wide spectrum of military capabilities and training experiences.

Brigadier Bob Brown said about 9400 Navy, Army and Air Force personnel from Australia and the US were training in Queensland during the exercise.

"In a slight change from previous years, this year's exercise at Shoalwater Bay will be mostly the Australian Army staging their Exercise Hamel as part of Talisman Sabre," Brigadier Brown said.

"The scale and intensity of Ex TS15 will be similar to previous activities in the Talisman Sabre series except this year a larger portion of the exercise will be held in the Northern Territory.

"For 2015, the focus of the exercise, particularly air and maritime operations, will be in the North Australian Range Complex, Timor and Arafura seas, however a number of land activities will continue to be carried out at training areas in the East Australian Range Complex.

"There's also plenty of Defence hardware planned to be on display at the public open day at the Rockhampton Showgrounds on July 5."


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