Ships arrive in Darwin for major exercise

This article has photo gallery Published on CMDR Fenn Kemp (author), LCPL Kyle Genner (photographer)

Location(s): Darwin, Northern Territory

Topic(s): Exercises

The crew of HMAS Perth cheer at the Port of Darwin, in preparation for the commencement of Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 2015. (photo: LCPL Kyle Genner)
The crew of HMAS Perth cheer at the Port of Darwin, in preparation for the commencement of Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 2015.

Royal Australian Navy ships have begun arriving in Darwin for Exercise Talisman Sabre 2015. Anzac class frigate, HMAS Perth, is among several vessels taking part in the exercise, which is occurring in the Top End for the first time.

Talisman Sabre is held every two years and incorporates activities at sea, on land and in the air. The aim is to test and improve interoperability between Australia and the United States. Traditionally, Talisman Sabre Exercises have been held in and around North East Queensland but this year activities are being spread across both North East Queensland and the Northern Territory. The maritime component alone is being held across a huge area in the Coral, Timor and Arafura Seas. 

 Commanding Officer HMAS Perth Captain Ivan Ingham says his crew is looking forward to the weeks ahead. 

“This is a terrific exercise in terms of its complexity and size,” Captain Ingham said.

“We really value the opportunity to work with the United States and the US Marines in an amphibious construct, both to test our interoperability and also our high end warfighting skills.”

The ship’s arrival caused a flurry of excitement in Darwin. While Navy has an enduring presence in the top end, the scale of Talisman Sabre has clearly captured the attention of locals. 

About 30 thousand sailors, soldiers and airmen and women will be participating – 18 thousand of those are massing in and around Darwin. Several dozen ships of all kinds will be taking part across the exercise region.  

Also embarked in HMAS Perth is Navy’s new MH-60R Romeo Seahawk Helicopter. The Romeo is a proven submarine hunter and can also be used for a wide range of maritime operations.

HMAS Perth has just returned from a visit to South East Asia, followed closely by a patrol of the North West Shelf. Before setting off again next week, the ship’s company will take some well earned shore leave. 

“Navy has worked closely with the city of Darwin for a long, long time,” Captain Ingham said. 

“The sailors always enjoy visiting the Northern Territory.”