QUEENSLAND, Australia --
QUEENSLAND, Australia – U.S. Marines with 3rd Marine Division, soldiers with 2nd Infantry Division and Australian Defence Forces conducted a long range High Mobility Artillery Rocket System raid as part of Exercise Talisman Sabre 19 from July 11-15, 2019.
The training event began with Marines on MV-22B Ospreys from Marine Rotational Force Darwin seizing an airfield, allowing two HIMARS launchers from 3d Marine Division and two from 2nd Infantry Battalion to be inserted into Bundaberg by two US Marine Corps KC-130Js from Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 152 and two Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) C-17s.
"Q Battery, a HIMARS unit from the 3rd Marine Division, demonstrated the flexibility and lethality of the Combined Joint-Force by conducting a HIMARS Rapid Infiltration via C-130 into Bundaberg, Australia. That mission type gives commanders the ability to quickly deploy an extended range precision strike capability," said Major John Huenefeld, Operations Officer for 3rd Battalion, 12th Marines.
The employment of HIMARS in this manner, also known as HIMARS Rapid Infiltration or HIRAIN, gives commanders the ability to shape the battle space and engage high value targets. HIRAIN missions also significantly increase the survivability of the launcher, crew and aircraft due to the reduced exposure to hostile fires.
This raid is just one of many opportunities the forces will have to utilize HIMARS during their time in Australia at Talisman Sabre 19. Talisman Sabre 19 provides intense training to ensure our forces are capable, interoperable, and deployable on short notice. Raids such as these provide relevant training necessary to maintain peace, security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
“With the range of the HIMARS and the ability to bring it wherever we want, we can hit targets just about anywhere in the world, in a very short amount of time,” said Huenefeld. “The muscle of this system is just extraordinary.”
The purpose of Talisman Sabre 19 is to improve Australian-U.S. combat readiness and interoperability, maximize combined training opportunities and conduct maritime prepositioning and logistics operations. Exercises like this better prepare Australia and the U.S. for future conflict by fully integrating all domains of warfare (air, land, maritime, space and information).
(U.S. Marine Corps story by 1st Lt. Brett Vannier)