Home » Air » U.S. Ospreys Arrive in Australia for Talisman Saber

U.S. Ospreys Arrive in Australia for Talisman Saber

by Kris Osborn on July 17, 2013

Osprey TalismanThe U.S. has deployed 10 MV-22 Ospreys to Darwin, Australia to take part in the massive U.S.-Australia Talisman Saber exercise as the two countries expand their long-standing alliance.

It’s the latest step in the overall U.S. strategy to shift its focus to the Pacific as the U.S. continues to counter China’s expanding presence in the region. Last year, the first of 2,500 Marines arrived in Australia in what will be a continually rotating 6-month deployment to Australia first announced by President Obama in 2011.


Routine training exercises such as the biennial Talisman Saber activity between the U.S. and Australian militaries in the Pacific theater have taken on an intensified significance in light of the Pacific re-balance, service officials said.

“This is part of our normal theater security cooperation plan. However, the re-balancing to the Pacific is an important part of our future,” said Rear Adm. Jeffrey A. Harley, Commander Amphibious Force, 7th Fleet. “At the same time, our great Navy has been in this region for over 150 years as a pacific power — and always will be.”

Talisman Saber, a joint training exercise involving more than 28,000 U.S. and Australian personnel, includes ship-to-shore amphibious assault exercises as well as live-fire exercises, communications drills, maritime security exercises, humanitarian relief efforts as well as anti-submarine and anti-air activities.

“Talisman Saber strengthens the interoperability at the personnel level but also at the tactical and operational level because we specifically get the opportunity to do forward operations as well as forced integration training,” Harley said.

At least seven of the Ospreys will operate from the USS Bonhomme Richard Wasp-class amphibious assault ship. It is the first deployment in which the Osprey will operate from the Bonhomme Richard, Harley said.

In fact, the presence of the Osprey can change the nature of amphibious warfare by multiplying options, Harley said.

“The MV-22 Osprey’s are performing superbly. They allow for so much more capacity and bring an incredible amount of flexibility.

They allow us to bring more personnel and equipment ashore faster and farther than ever before, so this is expanding the amphibious capability of our great Navy.”

As a tilt-rotor aircraft, the Osprey can switch from a helicopter-like hover mode to a much faster airplane-mode.

The MV-22 can typically accommodate 24 combat troops and 20,000-pounds of internal cargo or 15,000-pounds of external cargo; it can go four times the range of the CH-46 Sea Knight, and has the capability to conduct aerial refueling, Navy officials indicated.

“This gives us the ability to respond in ways we have never done before. Using the Osprey you can do amphibious assaults solely using the aircraft,” Harley added.

Overall, Navy officials indicated that the joint-training exercise really help improve interoperability between the two countries.

“We do this every two years and it is designed to improve both nation’s ability to work bi-laterally and multi-laterally throughout the Asia Pacific region and globally as the exercise demonstrates the closeness of our alliance,” said Lt. Anthony Falvo, Pacific fleet spokesman.

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{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

hibeam July 17, 2013 at 8:40 pm

Takes off like a helicopter, flies like an airplane, lands like a confused water buffalo. Flies like an airplane.


USS ENTERPRISE July 17, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Any chance this is an attempt to get the Aussies to buy the Osprey?


tiger July 19, 2013 at 7:01 am



@varnal1 July 24, 2013 at 9:42 pm

We should be pushing the sale of Osprey – not only will it help provide manufacturing jobs but by economy of scale should make them cheaper by the unit. And the addition of having to provide spare parts keep subcontractors busy also. There is something fundamentally wrong when there is a limited production run of military equipment, unless you have its replacement in pre-production.


tiger July 25, 2013 at 4:38 am

Israel is making a buy. The new Government down under is not looking to buy stuff.


Henry July 17, 2013 at 11:03 pm

The title should be "now a message from our sponsor"


blight_ July 18, 2013 at 10:22 am

US Ospreys arrive in Australia for Advair Vegemite…


ronaldo July 18, 2013 at 2:08 pm


Are you kidding me ? I can jus see some general with puffed chest coming up with this childish moniker.

It always cracks me up what they call these things. Downsize the pentagon another 20% !


Rest Pal July 25, 2013 at 12:06 am

Well, it's not just the Pentagon. By and large, the entire country is a collection of spoiled, overgrown kids, including the Congress and the White House.


Safehouse July 25, 2013 at 3:43 am

How about 30%?


@varnal1 July 24, 2013 at 9:20 pm

Maybe we should start having our troops display the manufacturer or contractor on their uniforms like the NFL or NBA currently do! This year's ACU is designed and manufactured by Nike!


Craig Landon July 18, 2013 at 1:58 am

I can think of worse places to deploy for exercises, and worse ‘allies’ to help train. Naturally, the Marines are there first.


blight_ July 18, 2013 at 10:23 am

Army will be along in C-130's. If there's money for it, they may even do an airfield seizure and airland in.


Kristian July 18, 2013 at 6:09 pm

Um, I went to Talisman Sabre in 2010 with California Army National Guard. The 31st MEU got there, eventually and they were not impressive. At all. My infantry BN ran circles around those guys. They were road bound and solar powered as in never got off the roads and shut down all operations at night. Seriously underwhelming.


Ricky July 18, 2013 at 9:50 pm

Sounds like the 31st MEU, needs some tough love to get back in performance shape.


@varnal1 July 24, 2013 at 9:26 pm

I was in the 40th in the 80s and I remember transitioning from Med Company to Fwd Spt Bn and receiving a C-4 for combat readiness – we put our active duty cohort unit to shame. Go 40th ID!


@varnal1 July 24, 2013 at 9:22 pm

Australia is probably the best military training area in the entire world with all that air/sea/land mass and such a small population. Imagine multi-division exercise in the outback without land or air restrictions.


hibeam July 18, 2013 at 11:02 am

Instead of using drones we should land in these things and chase the bearded lunatics around. Because drones kill millions of innocent civilians doncha know.


Russell Romick July 18, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Millions? Excuse me? I hope you were being satirical. Drones, at most, kill thousands of people. While still a horror if innocent civilians get caught in the explosion, are much more safe for our ground forces than a helo/plane full of mini-guns flying around looking for targets of opportunity. There would be a pressure to "find" targets I would assume. The authorization for drones to fire is much more tightly controlled than an osprey flying around looking to shoot. Again, millions? Wow you must not read much.


hibeam July 18, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Northern Pakistan is completely devoid of bearded lunatics at this time. And very few goats even. And all because of drones. Oh the humanity.


Mystick July 18, 2013 at 1:21 pm

An article not about drones! Yay!


blight_ July 18, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Drone keeps on going, and going, and going, and going…


USS ENTERPRISE July 18, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Quit droning on……..


Rest Pal July 25, 2013 at 12:50 am

Don't you think that the Australians are just another form of drones from the American perspective?


Lance July 18, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Wait for the first hard landing the Aussie like most Marines will have reservations about the Osprey.


SJE July 18, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Australia is very spread out and has a lot of remote, undeveloped areas. The Osprey should definitely be considered.


nate July 18, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Hope that they put a US air base there!


GregGaunt July 18, 2013 at 3:16 pm

Previous reports indicate this will be a long, meaningful relationship with the US military being there. In a few years, it may become a PCS location.


blight_ July 18, 2013 at 8:12 pm

I'd rather they co-base somewhere and save money, and employ Australian contractors instead of the usual corporate imbeciles, that import Third-Worlders and bill like they are Americans.


SJE July 21, 2013 at 3:45 pm

There are already several US bases, just not an airbase.


the_apprentice September 9, 2013 at 1:23 am

Actually there is a USAF base at Amberly, Queensland. The USAF have a number of different planes based there for operations with the pacific and south-east asia


RD July 18, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Is Australia expecting to be invaded and if an evil asian army landed in N Australia, would anyone notice?


SJE July 21, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Australia is 20 million rich mostly white people in a country the size of the USA. It closest neighbor is Indonesia, with over 200 million, mostly poor and Muslim.

How do you think the USA would feel if it only had the population of greater NYC, 90% of the population lived North of Washington DC, and Mexico was several times the population, several times poorer, and Muslim?


USS ENTERPRISE July 21, 2013 at 5:56 pm

….I'm not sure as to why you brought up "muslim", as it shows that you aren't informed well, at least not from the media. The people you need to look out for are muslim EXTREMISTS; "muslims" are harmless. The second people understand that, the world will be a better place…..


mathprof July 22, 2013 at 2:21 pm

What we tend to see with large Muslim populations is acceptance of extremest tactics. If 1 out of every 10,000 Muslims is an extremist and 1 out of 100 of those act on it you are still talking a very large threat.


Speedy July 18, 2013 at 11:16 pm

I like the Osprey. The concept is cool.

I do hope it has the range to fly round "up north", as we are a "Big wide land".

Also, I love eharing the stories from mates in the defence forces talking about you poor yanks when you get down under. If it is your first trip, you get the standard safety briefings. Stay out of the sea, if the sharks and killer jelly fish don't get you, the croc will. Stay away from the rivers, the croc will be hungry if they missed you in the sea. Be careful in the bush, the snakes, emus, camels, kangaroos, spiders and feral pigs will try to kill you. (If the crocs haven't already caught you.) Please note: Shooting the pigs only annoys them.

One mate in Defence says that the only reason the Australian's let you lot in here with live ammo is it the only way you can survive the bush.

Lastly, do not forget the Drop bears. I still have scars above my eye from one when I was bush walking.


joe July 19, 2013 at 4:38 am

You forgot the ants. Those things are nasty.

I still remember a friend going into a wildlife park/petting zoo (can't remember what it was exactly) and getting bitten by a Koala. I got a wonderfully snide text message that "even the ******** teddy bears are out to get me in this country!"

But yes, given the most abundent natural resource of northern australia is acres and acres of absolutely nothing, the increased range and speed of the osprey does make sense.


Riceball July 19, 2013 at 2:02 pm

You know, if Australia ever got invaded all you would need to do is pull a Russian and pull back into the interior and let nature do the rest. The difference between Russia and Australia is that instead of General Winter and General Mud the Australians would have General Salty, General Great White, General Spider, General Snake, General Koala, General Kangaroo, General Pig, General Emu, & General Ant. If an invader doesn't get killed or eaten by the flora and fauna then they'll be easy pickings for the Aussie troops just waiting to pick off the survivors.


Speedy July 21, 2013 at 8:24 pm


Do not give away national defence plans!!!


Safehouse July 25, 2013 at 3:52 am

Remember: Everything in the desert Bites, Sticks, or Stings. EVERYTHING!


Safehouse July 25, 2013 at 3:52 am

I love the desert!


Ben August 17, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Should just get it for the "cool" factor alone….It looks handy.


Ben August 17, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Is it Armed in any way ? Or flares atleast ?


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SJE July 21, 2013 at 3:51 pm

MacArthur likened Australia to a giant aircraft carrier


Rest Pal July 25, 2013 at 12:46 am

MacArthur was an idiot.


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