Over 100 United States Spartan Paratroopers filled the skies over Charters Towers in a spectacular airborne display as part of Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021 (TS21). The Paratroopers – known as the Spartan Brigade – are based in Alaska from the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division.

Commander Deployable Joint Force Headquarters, Major General Jake Ellwood, said the Spartan Brigade executed a tactical manoeuvre from a Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster III aircraft. “This is one of the large-scale activities that Exercise Talisman Sabre is renowned for. It’s a demonstration of immense skill by a highly-trained team, and a true test of our ability to operate together,” Ellwood said.

Once on the ground the paratroopers were airlifted by an Australian CH-47 Chinook helicopter to the Townsville Field Training Area where they joined soldiers from the 3rd Brigade to assault enemy forces as part of a fictional training scenario.

Spartan Brigade Commander, Colonel Michael ‘Jody’ Shouse said the parachute drop was a key activity for TS21, demonstrating how Australia and the US can operate together to execute complex manoeuvres. “Executing airborne operations thousands of miles from our home station alongside our allies and partners such as the Australian Defence Force is the strength of our organization,” Shouse said. “Exercises like Talisman Sabre really show the capability of our Paratroopers.”

Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021 concludes on 31 July.


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