- Exercise Talisman Sabre
Exercise Talisman Sabre is one of Australia's largest multilateral military training exercises. Beginning in mid 2001 and occurring every two years, Talisman Sabre involves joint exercises performed by the
Australian Defence Forceand the United States Military at the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area in Central Queensland, Australia. The exercise focuses on crisis-action planning and contingency response, enhancing both nations’ military capabilities to deal with regional contingencies and the War on Terrorism.
Opposition, Protests and Environmental Concerns
There were a number of protests against the exercise in in 2007. These protests were motivated by concerns over the possibility of environmental damage to the Shoalwater Bay region and opposition to military exercises which simulate offensive operations.
There is Fact|date=June 2007 opposition to Talisman Sabre from peace activists and a number of environmental groups, with environmental concerns ranging from general military contamination, to the purported damaging effects of sonar on local marine life. [
Friends of the Earthproduced a submission to the Maunsell Public Environment Report, which has been [http://melbourne.indymedia.org/news/2006/11/130178.php published online] by "Melbourne Indymedia", November 13, 2006. This submission details the environmental and social impact the war games will have.] The Australian and American militaries have previously recognised the environmental concerns of operating in this area, with troops undergoing environmental impact briefings before arriving at the location in 2005, and an environmental training centre to be constructed before the 2007 exercise. [PO2 Charles A. Isom Jr. [http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Jun2005/20050624_1844.html Environment Gets Kid-Glove Handling During Talisman Saber '05] . Published online at DefenseLINK News, June 2005. Accessed 27 November 2006]
Talisman Sabre 2007 Involves 26,000 US and Australian troops over the period June 10-30. The exercise is taking place mainly at Shoalwater Bay in central Queensland and in the Northern Territory. The exercise also involves the use of civilian airports, including in Sydney and Brisbane, and Amberley air force base near Ipswich. Talisman Sabre also involves US nuclear-powered naval vessels.
In 2005 and 2007 a number of protesters were arrested for carrying out non-violent protests within the entrance to the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area. Some groups have organised a 'Peace Convergence' in protest of Exercise Talisman Sabre's environmental and social impacts and calling for an end to the war in Iraq, and Australian involvement with US-led wars. The weekends of protest around Shoalwater Bay involved a variety of actions from peace walks to film showings, to vigils and other non-violent direct actions. More than 1500 people marched in opposition to the war games at nearby Yeppoon on June 24, 2007.Fact|date=June 2007
There have been concerns that depleted uranium munitions, which have been linked to increased incidents of cancer, posing significant health risks, have been used at the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area during Exercise Talisman Sabre. Prior to the 2005 exercise the Australian Department of Defence issued a press release which stated that depleted uranium "will not be used in TS05 [Exercise Talisman Sabre 2005] by either Australian or US forces" and that this was "unequivocal". [Australian Department of Defence media release [http://www.defence.gov.au/media/AlertTpl.cfm?CurrentId=4909 DEPLETED URANIUM] . 7 June 2005.]
* [http://www.defence.gov.au/exercises/ts07/default.htm/ Exercise Talisman Saber 2007, Australian Department of Defence]
* [http://www.defence.gov.au/talisman_sabre/ Exercise Talisman Sabre, Australian Department of Defence]
* [http://www.peaceconvergence.com/ Peace Convergence]
* [http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,2113259,00.html/ Environment and US policy top global fears]
* [http://www.c7f.navy.mil/TS07/forces.htm Forces involved in TS 07]
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