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U.S. Marines with Company G., Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Expeditionary Unit, storm Freshwater Beach during an amphibious assault exercise in Australia. The training was part of the ongoing Talisman Sabre 2011 exercise in Austrlia.

U.S. Marines with Company G., Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Expeditionary Unit, storm Freshwater Beach during an amphibious assault exercise in Australia. The training was part of the ongoing Talisman Sabre 2011 exercise in Austrlia. (Garry J. Welch/U.S. Marine Corps)

U.S. Marines with Company G., Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Expeditionary Unit, storm Freshwater Beach during an amphibious assault exercise in Australia. The training was part of the ongoing Talisman Sabre 2011 exercise in Austrlia.

U.S. Marines with Company G., Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Expeditionary Unit, storm Freshwater Beach during an amphibious assault exercise in Australia. The training was part of the ongoing Talisman Sabre 2011 exercise in Austrlia. (Garry J. Welch/U.S. Marine Corps)

A Landing Craft Air Cushion from Assault Unit 5 lands on Freshwater Beach, Australia, as part of an amphibious assault during Talisman Sabre 2011. TS11 is an exercise designed to train U.S. and Australian forces 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.

A Landing Craft Air Cushion from Assault Unit 5 lands on Freshwater Beach, Australia, as part of an amphibious assault during Talisman Sabre 2011. TS11 is an exercise designed to train U.S. and Australian forces 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. (Jerome Reed/U.S. Marine Corps)

Marines with Company G., Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, communicate beside an amphibious assault vehicle at Freshwater Beach during an amphibious assault exercise in Australia. One of the biggest and most comprehensive operations of the ongoing exercise, the amphibious assault featured a beach assault and airfield seizure with real world obstacles, including everything from enemy ambushes to simulated IED blasts.

Marines with Company G., Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, communicate beside an amphibious assault vehicle at Freshwater Beach during an amphibious assault exercise in Australia. One of the biggest and most comprehensive operations of the ongoing exercise, the amphibious assault featured a beach assault and airfield seizure with real world obstacles, including everything from enemy ambushes to simulated IED blasts. (Garry J. Welch/U.S. Marine Corps)

Amphibious assault vehicles carrying U.S. Marines secure Freshwater Beach during an amphibious assault exercise in Australia. One of the biggest and most comprehensive operations of the ongoing exercise, the amphibious assault featured a beach assault and airfield seizure with real world obstacles, including everything from enemy ambushes to simulated IED blasts.

Amphibious assault vehicles carrying U.S. Marines secure Freshwater Beach during an amphibious assault exercise in Australia. One of the biggest and most comprehensive operations of the ongoing exercise, the amphibious assault featured a beach assault and airfield seizure with real world obstacles, including everything from enemy ambushes to simulated IED blasts. (Garry J. Welch/U.S. Marine Corps)

Marines with Company G., Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Expeditionary Unit, secure  Freshwater Beach during an amphibious assault exercise. The training was part of the ongoing Talisman Sabre 2011 exercise in Austrlia.

Marines with Company G., Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Expeditionary Unit, secure Freshwater Beach during an amphibious assault exercise. The training was part of the ongoing Talisman Sabre 2011 exercise in Austrlia. (Garry J. Welch/U.S. Marine Corps)

A U.S. Marine secures Freshwater Beach during an amphibious assault as part of Talisman Sabre 2011 exercise in Austrialia.

A U.S. Marine secures Freshwater Beach during an amphibious assault as part of Talisman Sabre 2011 exercise in Austrialia. (Garry J. Welch/U.S. Marine Corps)

SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — U.S. Marines and their Australian counterparts stormed Freshwater Beach along the eastern coast of Australia on Tuesday as a part of Talisman Sabre 2011.

One of the biggest and most comprehensive operations of the ongoing exercise, the amphibious assault featured a beach assault and an airfield seizure complete with obstacles, such as enemy ambushes to simulated IED blasts.

Elements of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard the USS Germantown and the Australian Army’s 7th Brigade took part in the assault, according to 31st MEU spokesman Capt. Caleb Eames. The U.S. and Australian troops were opposed by elements of the U.S. Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, Eames said in an email to Stars and Stripes.

“Executing a large operation such as this also brings the need for careful consideration of battle space management, ensuring your indirect fire from naval ships and from possible artillery assets are carefully coordinated with movements of forces on the ground and supporting aircraft,” Eames said.

After the Marines advanced from the beach, they faced tough terrain, Eames said. The thick vegetation of the Australian bush – and small constricted roads - had to factored into their operations as well.

“This Amphibious Assault is essentially the same type of operation that was conducted at Normandy - a forcible entry from the sea,” Eames said. “Of course, we now have modern technology that can give us a far clearer picture of what to expect ashore, aviation assets that can reach farther and faster in support of our guys on the ground, and a well-armored and well-equipped infantry force these days, but the basic concept remains the same.”

burkem@pstripes.osd.mil

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Matthew M. Burke has been reporting from Okinawa for Stars and Stripes since 2014. The Massachusetts native and UMass Amherst alumnus previously covered Sasebo Naval Base and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, for the newspaper. His work has also appeared in the Boston Globe, Cape Cod Times and other publications.
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