MIDGE Point residents experienced their very own D-Day re-enactment, when they awoke to the sound of war, on Wednesday, July 26, as troops from the United States Marine Corps (USMC) and Japanese Military undertook an amphibious beach landing.
Troops from the USMC 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and the Japanese Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade descended upon Midge Point at 9am for a mock assault, from sea to land, as apart of Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023.
Talisman Sabre 2023 is a large-scale military activity, involving a wide range of military air, sea and ground activities across the Queensland and New South Wales coast.
Lieutenant colonel Adam Murgatroyd, from the Australian Army, who trains Australian amphibious forces, said the ships, tanks, weapons, and soldiers that descended on Midge Point mimicked a real-life landing, in an area with an enemy threat present.
“In terms of the mechanics, this is very similar to how it would be done in real life. The only thing we’re missing because of the airspace restrictions here, is air cover,” he said.
“So, before we do this type of operation, there would be a series of gaining air and sea control, so you would see a large component of maritime manoeuvres to gain control of the sea area, you’d sea a lot of aircraft overhead to gain control of the air, to then enable the forces to lodge on the ground safely.”
The Australian Defence Force was there to provide safety architecture, along with Queensland Police and Ambulance Service, as well as aeromedical evacuation, if needed, and community liaison.
Midge Point local Jo Fraser said the exercise was ‘both exciting and loud’, but that Midge Point locals were excited about the activity, and eager to watch.
Lt. Col. Murgatroyd was thrilled with the response from the local community.
“I really wanted to highlight how welcoming the community at Midge Point is, everything they’ve offered, they’ve offered at no cost,” he said.
“The only thing they’ve asked, is to fix anything we damage, and we will absolutely do that.
“Even to the point where they’re offering rooms in their houses for any soldiers who need it, I can’t thank them enough.”