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36th CRG deploys in support of joint exercise in Australia

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Robert Hicks
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
More than 70 Airmen from the 36th Contingency Response Group deployed to Williamson Airfield Shoalwater Bay Training Area, Australia, this week to test their combined combat capabilities during a joint multinational exercise.

The mission of Talisman Sabre 2013 is to test the U.S. and Australian forces abilities to plan and conduct combined task force operations to improve combat readiness and interoperability on a variety of missions from conventional conflict to peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance efforts, according to the official Talisman Sabre website.

"Anytime we get an opportunity to deploy and test our day-to-day operations is always a plus," said Maj. Amber Jackson, 36th CRG operation plans and programs officer in charge. "Our entire unit is getting training, but one of the most important things is the interoperability between us and our Australian counterparts."

The 36th CRG Airmen are working hand-in-hand with the Royal Australian Air Force's 381st Expeditionary Combat Support Squadron throughout the exercise to test shared tactics, techniques, and procedures for opening, operating and transferring authority of an austere bare-base airfield. Jackson said it also gives the two units a chance to coordinate and plan how they would deploy as a whole.

This will be the first time the group has provided relief in place and a transfer of authority to the Australian Defence Force.

"This is huge for us," Jackson said. "We've never had the opportunity to perform operations such as these. We are looking forward to working out the kinks and figuring out how we would transfer authority to our counterparts."

The exercise is also a chance for the U.S. Airmen to further the capabilities of the longstanding alliance with their Australian partners in developing both nations' abilities to mitigate contingencies while continuing to hone the 36th CRG's readiness, said Lt. Col. Mike Black, 36th CRG deputy commander.

"Talisman Sabre affords us a rare and valuable opportunity to mobilize a majority of our contingency responders and deploy them off-island," Black said. "While the CRG is by design highly agile and self-contained, we want to thank our partners, the 36th Wing, for their tremendous support for getting our responders deployed on time."

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