Let the invasion begin! Coalition troops storm beach

 

MORE than 1000 coalition troops invaded a Queensland beach yesterday as they started their big push to restore an allied nation's sovereignty.

The smell of diesel filled the air as a screen of white smoke surrounded the top of the eight armoured amphibious assault vehicles barrelling towards Langam's Beach in Stanage Bay in a line en masse about 10.30am.

Despite only looking like small boats as they approached shore, imposing amphibious tanklike vehicles with massive wheels emerged from the smoke screen - and underwater - and drove straight onto the sand to deliver US, Japanese and British Marines in the first wave of the mock war's beach landing.

Numerous different types of military amphibious landing vehicles followed in successive waves from four Navy ships dotting the horizon.

The Australian transports brought both soldiers and Australian Light Armoured Vehicles (ASLAV's) ashore from the HMAS Canberra and Adelaide while some of the Japanese arrived on hovercrafts from the JS Kunisaki.

 

Australian Forces during a beach assault at Shoalwater Bay. Picture: Peter Wallis
Australian Forces during a beach assault at Shoalwater Bay. Picture: Peter Wallis

 

The beach landing marked the first official day of Team Blue's push into the fictitious island Republic of Legais, which was overthrown by an enemy force dubbed Team Red from the nation of Kamaria.

The mock conflict is part of Australia's largest bilateral military training exercise with the US, Talisman Sabre and involves more than 34,000 military personnel from six nations.

Exercise Director Commodore Allison Norris said the forces who came ashore moved straight into the land combat part of the exercise, which will play out over the next two weeks in Shoalwater Bay and parts of the Queensland coast.

"The blue and red opposition forces have a destination and a target they need to meet," she said.

"The blue force will be trying to manoeuvre through what is Legais, our fictitious ally, replicated by the Shoalwater Bay training area.

"The red force brigade will be trying to stop them from achieving their outcomes."

Commodore Norris said the enemy had been in position for days in preparation for Team Blue's arrival.

 

Amphibious assault craft land on the beaches north of Rockhampton as part of operation Talisman Sabre. Picture: Glenn Hunt
Amphibious assault craft land on the beaches north of Rockhampton as part of operation Talisman Sabre. Picture: Glenn Hunt

"The whole aim of the blue force's training … is to ensure that we set up a capable adversary that tests our people in training, so that they are better equipped to fight should we need to," she said.

US Marines involved in the multiple beach landings deployed from the USS Wasp.

The 257m long, multipurpose ship carries landing craft air cushions - or hovercrafts - used for beach landings, as well as various types of aircraft including F-35B fighter jets and different types of attack helicopters.

US Marines were deployed from the USS Wasp. Photo: Glenn Hunt
US Marines were deployed from the USS Wasp. Photo: Glenn Hunt

USS Wasp Rear Admiral Fred Kacher said Talisman Sabre was a valuable joint-exercise.

"Australia is one of our closest partners and as we operate in the Indo-Pacific having a partner that shares our values that we fought and served alongside with, is absolutely important as we face the challenges that are resident in the Indo Pacific region," he said.

The exercise, which ends July 24, is designed to test combat readiness and interoperability between Australia and the US military.