USS Blue Ridge

US and Australian naval forces have successfully completed the Talisman Sabre 2015 combined joint exercise aboard the US 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) in Brisbane, Australia.

The biennial programme is designed to improve Australian and US combat readiness and interoperability, and maximise combined training opportunities.

US Consulate general Hugo Llorens said: "Together we’re working to secure a peaceful and prosperous Asia-Pacific, which in the end, benefits anyone, and Talisman Sabre 2015 is one clear way that we are helping to ensure peace and prosperity of the region."

The 20-day effort marks the sixth iteration of the exercise.

Royal Australian Navy (RAN) joint operations chief vice admiral David Johnston said: "It’s been one of the safest that we have performed and one of the most complex we have done."

As part of the exercise, more than 33,000 personnel were trained using 21 ships, including the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), over 200 aircraft, and three submarines.

"Together we’re working to secure a peaceful and prosperous Asia-Pacific."

Australian soldiers performed amphibious landing from 2RAR and US Marines at Fog Bay near Darwin.

The RAN’s Bay-class landing ship HMAS Choules also participated in a part of the exercise.

Parliamentary secretary to defence minister Darren Chester said: "This is the first time the exercise has taken place simultaneously in two strategically important locations.

"The Bradshaw Field Training Area, south west of Darwin in the Northern Territory and the Shoalwater Bay Training Area near Rockhampton in Queensland have again proven their worth in terms of mid intensity and high end training."

Image: The USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) ship transits into Brisbane during Talisman Sabre 2015 exercise. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by mass communication specialist 2nd Class Indra Bosko / Released.