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Army, Navy Team Up on Boxer
By Photographer’s Mate Airman Paul Polach
Navy News Service
June 20, 2005

ABOARD USS BOXER - The Australian army and the U.S. Navy are working side by side for four intensive weeks during Exercise Talisman Saber 2005 in June.

Currently, there are more than 800 Australian personnel embarked on USS Boxer (LHD 4), which is the largest concentration of Australians embarked aboard a ship since World War II.

"It has been interesting working with the Americans," said Pvt. Matthew McVicar, 1 Royal Army Regiment, Alice Springs, Australia. "We don't usually work with the Navy, but I think it will give both Australian and American personnel a chance to learn things about their job and how they work."

More than 16,000 Australian and U.S. service members are cooperating during Talisman Saber to conclude three phases of combined operations in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area. Combined operations allow service members in similar fields of knowledge to exchange ideas and improve work practices. Personnel who are culinary specialists, hospital corpsmen, operations specialists or military police are a few of the individuals who will receive a helping hand from the embarked Australians.

"I really enjoy working with the Australians," said Fire Controlman 3rd Class Collier Azare, of Las Vegas, who works with the ship's police force. "The Australians are also really interested in learning the aspects of our law enforcements and how we work."

Talisman Saber is a combination of what were once exercises Tandem Thrust, Kingfisher and Crocodile. The exercise includes combined special forces operations, parachute drops, amphibious landings, artillery and infantry maneuvers, air combat training and advanced maritime operations. Through mid- to high-intensity training, participating forces will establish skills and understanding necessary to face potential events requiring joint operations on land and at sea.

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