Paratroopers of Canadian Army, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) 25th Infantry Division, and United States Army Civil Affairs exit a C-17 Globemaster over Kapyong Dropzone in Shoalwater Bay, Queensland, Australia, July 13, 2017. The airborne operation was conducted as part of Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 2017, a massive, biennial exercise designed to exercise the interoperability of joint forces throughout the Pacific region. (Photo by Staff Sergeant Daniel Love ©2017 United States Army)

Canadian Army soldiers parachute into Australia


Posted on Thursday, July 20, 2017

On July 13, approximately 130 Canadian Army soldiers parachuted from C-17 Globemasters into Williamson Airfield, Queensland in Northeastern Australia alongside American and Australian allies after a 14-hour flight across the Pacific Ocean as part of Exercise TALISMAN SABRE.

The day before, six C-17 Globemaster aircraft (four American, two Australian) departed Joint Base Elmendorf–Richardson, Alaska. They then traveled 11,000 kilometres to drop 330 paratroopers, a mix of Canadian, American and Australian soldiers, within a 20-minute window. Once on the ground, the soldiers completed a training scenario, which had them secure control of the airfield to allow additional forces to arrive.

Exercise TALISMAN SABRE runs every other year and trains primarily Australian and American 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. This training affords Canadian parachutists the opportunity to hone their skills on a regular basis and maintain a constant state of readiness for future missions and operations.

“Not only is this an excellent opportunity for our soldiers to practice airborne operations and skills, but it also allows us to strengthen ties with our closest allies,” said Lieutenant Colonel Derek Prohar, Commanding Officer, 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. “When you look at the range of Canadian deployed operations around the world, there is one major thing in common: working closely with partner nations. Combined exercises like this improve mutual understanding and appreciation, and set us up for success when we will inevitably be working together on operations in the future.”

The Canadian contingent was primarily from the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, but also included soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment; 1 Combat Engineer Regiment; 1 Field Ambulance; and 1 Royal Canadian Horse Artillery.

In preparation for the airborne insertion into Australia, Canadian soldiers spent several days training in Alaska with American and Australian soldiers and equipment.

Exercise TALISMAN SABRE is in its seventh occurrence and consists of 33,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen, airwomen and marines from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and the United States. 10,000 of these participants, including the 130 Canadians, landed ashore and parachuted into the simulated battlefield.