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Navy, Marines Land on Australian Beach

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS090717-12
Release Date: 7/17/2009 12:56:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jose Lopez Jr.

QUEENSLAND, Australia (NNS) -- The combined forces of the U.S. military and Australian Defense Forces landed on Freshwater Bay beach in Queensland to commence the land phase of Talisman Saber 2009. After days of practice and battle preparations, the combined force made the landing.

"We secured the beach to allow other forces to land," said Marine 1st Lt. Marco Rossi, executive officer for Company L Battalion Landing Team 3/5. "We will also be the first to push inland and continue the attack while other elements come in for support."

Vehicles that could not float to the shore arrived aboard the U.S. Navy's landing craft air cushion (LCAC) vehicles. Australian and U.S. Marines from USS Essex (LHD 2), USS Denver (LPD 9) and USS Tortuga (LSD 46), as well as the HMAS Kanimbla and HMAS Darwin made the landing to begin the ground battle of the exercise.

"We arrived with the LCACs, dropped our trucks on the beach, and we provide security until we move out," said Cpl. Nathan Blackwood, Weapons Company 3/5.

"We have a lot better traction here than anywhere else," said Lance Cpl. Alex Ciborowski, with Weapons Company BLT 3/5. "I've never had the opportunity to train with Australians, so I want to see how that goes."

Marines from Company L arrived on the shore of Freshwater Bay beach on amphibious assault vehicles (AAV) to push on to Samuel Hill, the exercise objective.

"We have ten days of operations trying to find bad guys," said Gunnery Sgt. Ed Brickert Weapons Company BLT 3/5. "We are a combination of Reservists and Australian Army. We have our work cut out for us, experience has shown that the Aussies are pretty good at camouflage and concealment. It's their home territory."

Exercise Talisman Saber is the biennial combined training activity designed to train Australian and U.S. forces in planning and conducting Combined Task Force operations, which will help improve bilateral combat readiness and interoperability.

The mock battle will place the Marines in various scenarios for the next few days. Umpires or referees from both nations' services will administer the exercise and its progress.

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