QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA -- U.S. Army Pacific paratroopers jumped onto Kangaroo Drop Zone July 28 near Charters Towers Australia, as part of simulated Joint Forcible Entry Operation during Exercise Talisman Sabre 21 – the largest military exercise conducted between Australia and the United States.
More than 100 paratroopers from 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, “Spartan Brigade,” based out of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, executed a parachute drop from Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster III aircraft onto a drop zone located in Northeastern Australia.
“This is one of the large-scale activities that Exercise Talisman Sabre is renowned for,” said Australian Army Maj. Gen. Jake Ellwood, Deployable Joint Force Headquarters commander. “It’s a demonstration of immense skill by a highly-trained team, and a true test of our ability to operate together.”
The event was part of a larger simulated JFEO overseen by the U.S. Army’s 4th Infantry Division Forward Command Post acting as the Combined Land Forces Component Command headquarters for this phase of TS21.
“A JFEO is a complex military operation that synchronizes multi-domain capabilities such as air, land, sea, information, space, cyberspace and other domains to seize key terrain,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Eric Strong, CFLCC commander and senior U.S. military officer on the ground for TS21.
“This is really important work we’re doing here with our key allies, the Australians,” said Strong. “I’m grateful for their hospitality and support. Our Soldiers are doing a great job and I couldn’t be prouder. It’s a significant commitment to be away from home and family, but when I look at the lasting impacts of our efforts: increased readiness, stronger bonds with allies and partners and a safer, securer world – I know it’s worth it.”
Following the parachute drop, Spartan Brigade paratroopers boarded Australian CH-47 Chinook helicopters and flew into the Townsville Field Training Area. From there, U.S. forces rendezvoused with 3rd Brigade of the Australian Army to fall under their command to execute a simulated attack against an enemy occupied urban area.
“Exercises like Talisman Sabre really show the capability of our Paratroopers,” said U.S. Army Col. Jody Shouse, the Spartan Brigade commander. “Executing airborne operations thousands of miles from home station alongside our allies and partners such as the Australian Defence Forces is the strength of our organization.”
TS21 involves the employment and command and control of nearly 17,000 U.S., Australian and other ally and partner military forces training in complex, multi-domain operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
“The U.S. Joint Force, operating alongside key allies like Australia, is the most lethal, capable and innovative fighting force operating today,” said Strong. “The rapidly-deployable multi-domain capabilities being employed at TS21 provide military commanders flexible options tailorable to a wide range of missions and contingencies.”