On the offensive in Queensland

This article has photo gallery Published on Department of Defence (author), LSIS Richard Cordell (photographer), ABIS Shane Cameron (photographer), Lance Cpl Kaleb Martin (US Marine Corps) (photographer), Sgt 1st Class Whitney C Houston (US Army) (photographer)

Location(s): Stanage Bay, Qld

Topic(s): HMAS Canberra (L02), HMAS Adelaide (L01), Exercise TALISMAN SABRE

An amphibious landing for Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 2019 at Langham Beach in Stanage Bay, Qld. (photo: )
An amphibious landing for Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 2019 at Langham Beach in Stanage Bay, Qld.

The largest Australian-led amphibious landing and offensive assault since World War II has taken place at Langham Beach, near Stanage Bay, Queensland, as part of Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 2019.

An amphibious task force comprising of military personnel from Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan and New Zealand sailed for the fictional island of Legais as a Combined Expeditionary Strike Group.

As part of the exercise scenario, a global outcry followed the invasion of the island by the fictional Pacific nation Kamaria and it was the task force’s responsibility to retake and secure it.

With the mission to liberate the Legais people from their invaders, soldiers from the amphibious task force assaulted Langham Beach, near Stanage Bay, before moving into an extended operational area across the region.

The exercise is a significant milestone for the Royal Australian Navy, as it was the first major international amphibious assault exercise in which both of Navy’s landing helicopter docks, HMA Ships Canberra and Adelaide, have employed their extensive amphibious capabilities together.

Their participation in this assault follows preparatory exercises SEA EXPLORER and SEA RAIDER, which were undertaken in the lead up to Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 2019.

United States Marine Corps Colonel Matt Sieber said preparations for the large-scale amphibious assault began days ago.

“The amphibious landing actually began three days ago with the insertion of a pre-landing and reconnaissance force surveilling the enemy,” Colonel Sieber said.

With amphibious assault vehicles, landing craft and simultaneous helicopter insertions into landing zones to come ashore, the taskforce secured a beachhead.

Sapper Luke Hubbard, from 10th Force Support Battalion’s amphibious beach team, said the landing was significant because it was done with partner nations.

“I think we are really testing our armed forces individually, and together, to see how the amphibious capability really works,” said Sapper Hubbard.

“To be able to do that is pretty exciting and a major challenge.”

Major General Roger Noble, the deputy chief of joint operations for the Australian Defence Force, said the assault was a key part of TALISMAN SABRE, the largest military exercise to take place in Australia.

“Through exercises like TALISMAN SABRE we demonstrate the strength, viability, and endurance of the alliance between Australia and the United States as well as the varying levels of interoperability between our services,” Major General Noble said.

“The Australian Defence Force must be capable of operating as a joint force across sea, land, and air domains, maintaining high-end capabilities to act decisively when required.

“A credible amphibious capability significantly broadens the options for Australia and the United States to fulfil these requirements.”

TALISMAN SABRE is the largest combined exercise undertaken by the Australian Defence Force, with more than 34,000 personnel, 30 ships and 200 aircraft from across Australia, the United States, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Japan and Canada.

TALISMAN SABRE 2019 imagery is available on the Defence Image Gallery: