British Royal Marine Commandos played a key role in Exercise TALISMAN SABRE’s amphibious assault alongside soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (2RAR).
Although joint training between the Australian Army and British Marines isn’t new, TALISMAN SABRE 2019 was the first time a whole British Marine company joined the exercise. They assaulted Langham Beach, Queensland, after launching from the Royal Australian Navy’s largest ship, HMAS Canberra.
The Marines worked alongside 2RAR reconnaissance specialists and a Navy clearance diving team as a part of the pre-landing force. They integrated into 2RAR to give ground reconnaissance, engineering, anti-armour and joint tactical air control capabilities.
It enabled the Marines to find and strike targets, which could potentially place the main landing force at risk.
During the exercise, they were able to call on air assets such as American F-18 fast jets and Australian Tiger helicopters for support.
Prior to the amphibious assault, they trained alongside 2RAR in Townsville, North Queensland.
British Marine, Corporal Matthew Bradshaw found it extremely valuable to train with the Australians in a combat shooting activity that involved a training simulator.
“The simulator was fantastic, giving the ability to call on fire support from air and artillery assets with coalition assets. We gained a lot of experiences from the range package on combat shooting and the team was highly professional,” Corporal Bradshaw said.
While the Marines are used to training in a variety of environments around the world, for Marine William Corke, a mountaineer leader specialising in Arctic warfare, training in Australia was a new experience.
“The environment and landscape are quite different and we have had to factor this into our pre-landing planning operations,” Marine Corke said.
They also had the chance to experience the Australian lifestyle during their time in Queensland, which included a visit to the Great Barrier Reef, Magnetic Island, the chance to hug a koala, and see an AFL game.