Australia and the US have commenced the Talisman Sabre joint exercise that is held every two years in Australia.

The exercise, which started on 14 July and runs until 31 July, is designed to enhance the interoperability between the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the US Armed Forces.

Over 17,000 troops from both nations are participating in Talisman Sabre.

According to media reports, a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) surveillance vessel travelled south to monitor the exercises being conducted as part of Talisman Sabre.

The Australian military is reportedly monitoring this surveillance ship sailing towards the Australian coast.

Local media reported that similar vessels were sent by China to monitor Talisman Sabre in 2019 and 2017.

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Australia Defence Minister Peter Dutton told reporters: “We’ve seen in previous operations that the Chinese have a presence and we have been monitoring that for some time.

“We obviously expect they operate according to international law and we would expect nothing less if we were traversing through international waters close to China as well.”

Besides the US, forces from Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the UK will participate in Talisman Sabre 2021.

Meanwhile, Australia-based personnel from India, Germany, Indonesia and France will observe the exercise.

ADF Deployable Joint Force Headquarters commander major General Ellwood said: “Council is excited to welcome Exercise Talisman Sabre to the district. Hinchinbrook residents should not be alarmed at the increased Defence personnel presence and are requested to take care on local roads as there may be increased Defence vehicle movement.

“Exercise Talisman Sabre reflects the strength of the Australia-US Alliance and the close and enduring nature of our military-to-military relationship.

“It is a powerful demonstration of the breadth and depth of the Alliance, which includes strong people-to-people links, world-leading capability innovation and highly interoperable forces.”

Due to the ongoing pandemic situation, there will not be any public viewing opportunities this year for the exercise.