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Talisman Sabre comes to town

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EXERCISE Talisman Sabre 2023 is making its presence known locally.

The Bowen Chamber of Commerce held a special welcome event, on Monday, July 24, for the United States Forces currently deployed in Bowen, for Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023.

Talisman Sabre officially commenced following an opening ceremony on-board HMAS Canberra, in Sydney, on Friday, July 21.

Over the next two weeks, 13 nations will participate in advanced training including warfighting across sea, land, air, cyber and space.

Now in its 10th iteration, 2023 is the largest Exercise Talisman Sabre in terms of its geographical area and the number of contributing collaborators.

Talisman Sabre will involve more than 30,000 military personnel deploying across Queensland, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and New South Wales.

In Bowen, the US contingent will be constructing a temporary pier to practise the transfer of vehicles and equipment from ship to shore.

Large military equipment has been seen around Bowen, with Kings Beach closed for the duration of the exercise.

Bowen Chamber of Commerce chairman Bruce Hedditch said the military presence had been wonderful.

“It’s been brilliant for the whole of Whitsundays but particularly Bowen, with the amount of personnel involved in Talisman Sabre and it has given a real boost to the economy,” he said.

“It’s been wonderful having the soldiers in our midst. The Chamber of Commerce had a welcome to Bowen with the officers and some of the men, on Monday (July 24) with many of the community here and the chamber members, it went really well.

“Hearing them talk about the exercise…it’s unique what they’re doing in Bowen in that they’re trying to develop their skills further, in ensuring their landing somewhere on a beach goes as smoothly as possible, and that they support the infantry in their quest to take particular parts of the country.

“It’s an exercise that has been wanting to happen for quite some time, and improved technology and the way the units work together is an important part in making sure that they’re well advanced to compel any problems in the future.”

The best vantage points in Bowen to view the on-water operations of Exercise Talisman Sabre are at Kings Beach, from Flagstaff Hill, and Rose Bay.

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