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130 Canadian Soldiers travelled 11,000 km to parachute in to Australia

After a 14 hour flight in a C-17 Globemasters across the Pacific Ocean, close to 130 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members parachuted over the skies of Australia as part of Exercise TALISMAN SABRE.

Alongside American and Australian allies, the CAF members parachuted into Williamson Airfield, Queensland in Northeastern Australia.

The journey of these soldiers began from on July 13, 2017, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Travelling in six C-17 Globemaster aircraft, the members travelled 11,000 kilometers to drop 330 paratroopers, within a 20-minute window.

Upon landing, they then completed a grinning scenario, which had them secure control of the airfield to allow additional forces to arrive.

“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. 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,” said LCol. Derek Prohar, Commanding Officer, 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.

The 130 CAF members on the exercise are primarily composed of soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. It also included soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment; 1 Combat Engineer Regiment; 1 Field Ambulance; and 1 Royal Canadian Horse Artillery.

In preparation for the exercise, these soldiers spent several days training in Alaska with the 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.

The exercise, which runs every other year, trains primarily Australian and American forces to prepare and conduct combined task force operations and improve interoperability. According to a CAF/Department of National Defence press release the 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.”

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Mishall Rehman

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Mishall is a freelance journalist pursuing her passion for writing in her new homeland Canada. She currently lives in Trenton, ON with her husband.

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