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NZ joins US-Aust war games in Queensland

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/06/2017 Lisa Martin

More than 700 New Zealand troops are joining the massive melee of US-Australian war games set to get underway in central Queensland.

The seventh biennial Talisman Sabre training exercises kick off on Thursday, mostly at Shoalwater Bay near Rockhampton.

There will also be activities at Amberley, Enoggera, Fog Bay in Queensland, the Coral Sea as well as Darwin and Canberra.

The exercises involve more than 30,000 Australian defence force and US Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force personnel.

New Zealand, invited to take part for just the second time, is contributing more than 700 troops, two NH90 helicopters, 24 light armoured vehicles and the HMNZS Canterbury supply ship.

"Exercises like Talisman Sabre give us the opportunity to test our people, our capabilities, our skills and our focus around combat scenarios, while working alongside some of our closest military partners," said joint forces commander, Major General Tim Gall.

Training routines will include Special Forces activities, amphibious landings, parachuting, urban operations, air operations, maritime operations and the firing of live ammunition and explosive ordnance from small arms.

There will be 21 ships involved, including the US Navy aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, as well as 200 aircraft.

The official opening ceremony will take place off the coast of Sydney aboard USS Bonhomme Richard on Thursday.

There are also some exercises scheduled on US soil at Pearl Harbour in Hawaii, San Diego, Indiana and on the island of Guam.

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