Troops prepare for Operation Talisman Sabre

By ALLAN McNEILallanm@gladstoneobserver.com.au

ABOUT 300 Australian Navy personnel descended on the Gladstone region recently, bringing mines and other military equipment in preparation for an expected attack.

However there is no need for concern, with the troops' presence merely representing the preparation for Operation Talisman Sabre ? a joint defence force operation between Australian and US forces which will include mock battles.

The troops are using Gladstone as a supply base for the exercise which will involve 17,000 troops in the Shoalwater Bay training area.

About 140 of those troops are expected to call Gladstone home during June.

Australian Navy Commander Geoff Uren said the troops on ground at present were taking part in a mine identification project.

'The mines were laid last Monday and now my troops are clearing them to allow a channel for ships to come in,' Commander Uren said.

Commander Uren said the landing in Shoalwater Bay, set to take place on June 11, would be a small amphibious landing.

The operation will officially run from June 11 to 29.



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