Why nearly 1000 defence personnel are headed our way
THE WHITSUNDAYS is set to welcome almost a thousand defence personnel with Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019 starting this month.
Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019 (EX TS19) is a combined Australian and United States military exercise conducted every two years at locations across Australia.
EX TS19 is the largest and most comprehensive exercise conducted by the Australian Defence Force, and aims to practice the communications with the United States Military and responses to potential real life scenarios.
The peak of the exercise will be from July 11-24.
It is understood that Bowen will play a large part in the exercise, with an amphibious landing similar to that seen last year with Operation Ocean Explorer among a list of military activities taking place in the Whitsundays.
A Department of Defence spokeswoman said that due to military secrecy, the dates couldn't be confirmed however the exercise would take place over a 3-4 day period.
"The Bowen region will experience an amphibious landing at Kings Beach and subsequent infantry and mechanised activities in the town for a 3-4 day period," the spokeswoman said.
"This will include major military road traffic, foot patrols as well as rotary and fixed wing aircraft.
"There will also be increased military presence during the set-up and pull-down of the activities."
As well as the amphibious landing, there will be a number of separate small scale activities occurring throughout Bowen over the entire exercise period, the spokeswoman confirmed.
Proserpine is also set to experience a large amount of activity, with the town centre and Whitsunday Coast Airport to play host to military exercises.
"There will be significant activities based at the airport over the entire exercise period, these will not affect commercial flights," the spokeswoman said.
"There will also be small scale activities in town and the surrounding countryside."
The majority of EX TS19 exercises will take place in the Shoalwater Bay Training area near Rockhampton, with up to 25,000 military personnel converging on the Sunshine State for the biennial training activity between now and August.
The defence spokeswoman confirmed that military and visiting personnel will have the opportunity to explore the local region and are encouraged to do so if time permits.
Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox said that the exercises would help the region moving forward.
"All these defence personnel that come to the Whitsunday region will be exposed to what we have on offer, and when they have time off choose here to holiday," Mr Willcox said.
"Even while they are here we can expect them to aid the local economy in their downtime as they use our hospitality and services.
"There has already been a number of people coming through the townships to plan the exercises that have already contributed to the local economy."
Mr Willcox said that previous exercises ran in the area had been a success with little to no environmental impact occurring.