The importance of amphibious landings has been demonstrated since the World War II D-Day landings at Normandy, France, and the Pacific Island campaign.
Today, the relevance of amphibious landing doctrine to the vast Indo-Pacific region is being showcased with Exercise Talisman Sabre 23, a bilateral U.S.-Australian exercise with participation from 13 countries.
This year marks the 10th iteration of Talisman Sabre, a biennial exercise designed to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific by strengthening partnerships and interoperability among key allies. The spelling of the name — sabre vs. saber — reflects which country is leading the exercise: Talisman Sabre when Australia leads and Talisman Saber when the U.S. leads.
Much of the exercise is taking place in Queensland, Australia, with landings in a variety of places along the coast.
Australian Army Lt. Col. Adam Murgatroyd, who trains Australian amphibious forces, said that Australia and other nations, including Japan and Germany, have benefited from U.S. amphibious training. Australian, Japanese and German tactics continue to evolve and mature over time, benefiting from exercises like this.
On Tuesday, the Japanese conducted an amphibious landing at Midge Point with U.S. Marines landing on that same beach the following day.
Other nations are participating in various aspects of the exercise, including the United Kingdom, South Korea, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Tonga, Fiji, France and Indonesia, as well as Australia.
The Australians have been laying the groundwork for this exercise for months.
Murgatroyd said he and his team have held townhall meetings with residents where the landings and movements inland are taking place, explaining to them what’s involved, answering environmental questions and concerns, and getting feedback from them.
The residents, he said, were very supportive and asked only that anything damaged by the exercise be repaired, which Murgatroyd agreed to do.
The Australians, he said, are also providing emergency medical support should any of the participants become ill or injured.