U.S. Ospreys Arrive in Australia for Talisman Saber

The 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.

About the Author

Kris Osborn
Kris Osborn is the managing editor of Scout Warrior.
  • hibeam

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


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

  • Henry

    The title should be “now a message from our sponsor”

    • blight_

      US Ospreys arrive in Australia for Advair Vegemite…

      • ronaldo


        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% !

    • @varnal1

      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

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

    • blight_

      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

      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

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

      • @varnal1

        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

      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

    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.

  • Mystick

    An article not about drones! Yay!

  • Lance

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

  • SJE

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

  • nate

    Hope that they put a US air base there!

  • RD

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

  • Speedy

    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.

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    I love the desert!

  • Ben

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

  • Ben

    Is it Armed in any way ? Or flares atleast ?

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