Combined Joint Personnel Complete Keynote Amphibious Landing

US Marines Humvee four-wheel drive vehicles and a US Navy Landing Craft Air Cushion on Freshwater Bay Beach, Queensland. (Photo:

July 15, 2009 -- The interoperability of the Australian and U.S. military forces was on display as amphibious ships and landing craft streamed onto Freshwater Beach in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area in the early morning hours today.

Looming out of the darkness, amphibious assault units deployed as part of Exercise Talisman Saber 2009.

US Marine Corporal Nathan Blackwood, who was with the first wave ashore, enjoyed the opportunity to work down under and was very excited to work with the Australians. He believes the training will be a great asset to everyone as his team has yet to deploy.

US and Australian troops pushed onto the beach from the amphibious assault ship USS Essex, located off the coast of Shoalwater Bay. The joint team consisted of ground, command, air and combat support elements from the Essex Amphibious Ready Group.

Essex's commanding officer, US Navy Captain Brent Canady, said Talisman Saber is an important exercise for both countries.

“Australia is one of our most strategic partners and it’s an opportunity for us to work on our interoperability and practice our coalition with the Australians,” Captain Canady said.

“So, if the time ever arises on short notice, we’ve already got the relationships built so we can just come together quickly and execute whatever mission we are assigned.”

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