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17 July, 2021

Australian defence force training in Cairns area

Australian and United States (US) military personnel will conduct training as part of Exercise Talisman Sabre in the Cairns, Innisfail, Atherton and Mareeba areas of North Queensland from mid-to-late July 2021.

HMAS Brisbane sails alongside HMAS Parramatta during replenishment at sea approach, off the coast of Queensland, during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021.

Exercise Talisman Sabre is Australia’s largest bilateral exercise with the US and it officially commenced with the opening ceremony held at RAAF Base Amberley in southern Queensland on Wednesday, 14 July 2021.

Exercise Talisman Sabre Director, Air Commodore Stuart Bellingham, said the Australian Defence Force personnel were looking forward to the opportunity to train alongside their US colleagues and, when the opportunity arises, to show them Queensland’s far north.

“Our US colleagues don’t get the opportunity to train in Far North Queensland very often, so we’re all looking forward to working together to build our joint capability and showing them a bit of the country,” Air Commodore Bellingham said.

“We acknowledge these activities may result in some noise disturbance for Cairns, Innisfail, Atherton and Mareeba residents. Defence is working closely with the local Queensland police and council to ensure residents are aware of the training, which will be conducted during the day and at night.”

A United States Army M901 Launching Station fires a MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile to engage a target, at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area in Queensland, during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021.

The public should not be alarmed if they see or hear military aircraft, vehicles and military personnel carrying weapons. Blank ammunition may be used during some aspects of the training.

People who see the training should not be concerned that any of the locations are under any form of actual threat.

All Australian and US military personnel participating in the training will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms before commencing the training.

“Robust COVIDsafe plans have been put in place to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 on exercise participants and the general public,” Air Commodore Bellingham said.

“Defence will not take any risks with the health of Cairns area population. For everybody’s safety we ask that if you see or hear the training, please maintain your distance.

“I would like to thank the people of the Far North Queensland area for welcoming us into their community,” Air Commodore Bellingham said.

Defence is unable to provide further information regarding this training in order to protect operational tactics, techniques and procedures.

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