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Airmen lend their support to U.S.-Australian exercise

Published: 01:16PM July 25th, 2013

Airmen from the 62nd Airlift Wing, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, along with other Mobility Airmen from across the U.S., will join more than 28,000 of their fellow Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Australian counterparts in northern Australia for Exercise Talisman Saber 2013.

Talisman Saber is a biennial training activity jointly sponsored by the Australian Defence Force Joint Operations Command and the U.S. Pacific Command to train forces from both nations to operate as a combined joint task force. The Air Mobility Command contribution to the team will include C-17 air crews from the 62nd AW, JBLM, and the 437th Airlift Wing, Joint Base Charleston, S.C., supported by KC-135 Stratotankers from the 60th Air Mobility Wing, Travis Air Force Base, Calif.

The commander of the 62nd Operations Group, Col. Andrew Hird, will be the overall U.S. Air Force mission commander during the exercise.

As part of the exercise, Mobility Airmen, comprised of C-17 Globemaster III and KC-135 Stratotanker crews, will support the airdrop of more than 400 U.S. Soldiers as well as a combined airdrop of cargo alongside the Royal Australian Air Force. Australian Talisman Saber 2013 spokesman Brigadier Bob Brown said the exercise would mobilize both nation’s forces to react to a “peace enforcement” scenario, with the combined task force setting the conditions for hand-off of responsibilities to a follow-on United Nations peacekeeping force.

“Talisman Saber is a unique and invaluable opportunity to exercise combined and joint Defence capability between Australia and the US. As with the previous Talisman Saber exercises, this activity is a major undertaking reflecting the Australian and US alliance and the strength of the military-to-military relationship,” said Brown .

Approximately 21,000 US and 7,000 Australian Defence Force personnel will be involved in the exercise, along with other Australian Government agencies including the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, AusAID, Australian Federal Police, and Australian Civil-Military Centre.

Talisman Saber 2013 began July 15 and runs until Aug. 6.