Assistant Minister for Defence - Minister visits Top End for TALISMAN SABRE 15

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The Hon Stuart Robert MP

Assistant Minister for Defence

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11 July 2015

Assistant Minister for Defence Stuart Robert has completed a visit to the Northern Territory where he visited Australian personnel and international partners participating in Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 15.

During his visit to the Top End Mr Robert also met with Territory leaders and key Defence stakeholders.

Mr Robert said he enjoyed meeting with the men and women of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and US military personnel who have deployed from across the Pacific region for the biennial exercise, which runs between 5-21 July this year.

“It is always a privilege to spend time with Australian military personnel and on this occasion I saw first hand how our forces are building increasingly robust partnerships with our US allies,” Mr Robert said.

“I also had the opportunity to speak with some Japan Ground Self-Defense Force and New Zealand military personnel who are participating for the first time.

“The ADF is continuing to develop its amphibious capability and I was impressed with the cooperation I saw as our Navy, Army and Air Force worked seamlessly with their US Navy, Air Force and US Marine Corps counterparts in the Top End.

“I would also like to thank residents and community leaders in the Top End for their support of this major exercise.”

Mr Robert began his visit with a briefing at Northern Command Headquarters at Larrakeyah Barracks before attending a function hosted by the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory at Parliament House in Darwin.

He also joined international visitors and dignitaries to observe the 2nd Royal Australian Regiment disembark HMAS Choules for an amphibious beach landing at Fog Bay, south of Darwin.

Before departing Darwin Mr Robert also received a brief on maritime operations and conducted a tour of the USS George Washington, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier.

This is the sixth TALISMAN SABRE exercise and involves around 30,000 Australian and US participants undertaking planning activities and military operations at sea, in the air and on land.

This year marks the first time the exercise will take place simultaneously within the Shoalwater Bay Training Area, near Rockhampton, Queensland, and Fog Bay/Bradshaw Field Training Area, south-west of Darwin in the Northern Territory.

Media note:
Vision will be fed to the Parliament House Gallery.

Media contacts:
Richard Briedis (Minister Robert’s office): 0477 391 174
Defence Media Operations: (02) 6127 1999

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