Australia Deploys For The First Time Abrams Tanks During Sea Explorer Exercise

Exercise Sea Explorer has concluded with about 1800 ADF personnel taking part and for the first time the tactical deployment of M1A1 Abrams tanks was exercised in amphibious operations.

The Australian Amphibious Force achieved the milestone at Cowley Beach in North Queensland during Exercise Sea Explorer, the second major activity of the Sea Series suite of exercises. 

Exercise Sea Explorer has concluded with approximately 1,800 ADF personnel taking part.

For the first time the tactical deployment of M1A1 Abrams tanks was exercised in amphibious operations.

The Australian Amphibious Force achieved the milestone at Cowley Beach in North Queensland during Exercise Sea Explorer, the second major activity of the Sea Series suite of exercises. 

Commander 1st Division Major General Jake Ellwood said the achievement shows Defence is advancing its warfighting capability in the coastal environment.

“During Exercise Sea Explorer we were able to demonstrate our capacity to project a mechanised combat team onto land from the sea,” Major General Ellwood said. 

“Troops rehearsed beach landings with a range of military vehicles, including the M1A1 Tank, using a variety of landing craft and with Australian Army ARH-Tiger and CH-47 Chinook helicopters in support.”  

Embarked in HMA Ships Canberra and Choules, the Australian Amphibious Force conducted wet and dry environmental rehearsals, combat enhancement training and force integration.

Troops trained day and night to familiarise forces with the conduct of amphibious operations.   

Commander Amphibious Task Force Captain Leif Maxfield said the exercise provides a fantastic opportunity to learn and test new skillsets in the amphibious environment.

“The Australian Amphibious Force is a scalable, joint force enhancing the ADF’s ability to achieve the nation’s Defence and maritime strategic objectives and interests throughout the region,” Captain Maxfield said.

“Exercise Sea Explorer enables our soldiers, sailors and aviators to practice a range of procedures and capabilities in complex and challenging scenarios.” 

The training will intensify next month on Exercise Sea Raider when the Australian Amphibious Force take the lessons learnt on this exercise, and put them in to practice during a range of realistic amphibious assault and raid rehearsals as part Exercise Talisman Sabre. 

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Australian Defence Force landing craft carrying M1A1 tanks approach Cowley Beach during Exercise Sea Explorer (Photo by LACW Jacqueline Forrester)

Commander 1st Division Major General Jake Ellwood said the achievement showed Defence is advancing its warfighting capability in the coastal environment.

“During Exercise Sea Explorer we were able to demonstrate our capacity to project a mechanised combat team onto land from the sea.”

“Troops rehearsed beach landings with a range of military vehicles, including the M1A1 Tank, using a variety of landing craft and with Australian Army ARH-Tiger and CH-47 Chinook helicopters in support.”

Commander 1st Division Major General Ellwood.

Embarked in HMA Ships Canberra and Choules, the Australian Amphibious Force conducted wet and dry environmental rehearsals, combat enhancement training and force integration.

Australian Defence Force landing craft carrying armoured vehicles approach Cowley Beach during Exercise Sea Explorer, as Chinook helicopters with underslung M777 Howitzers approach from above escorted by Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters with HMAS Canberra in the background. (Photo by WO2 Max Bree).

Troops trained day and night to familiarise forces with the conduct of amphibious operations.  

Commander Amphibious Task Force Captain Leif Maxfield said the exercise provided a fantastic opportunity to learn and test new skillsets in the amphibious environment.

“The Australian Amphibious Force is a scalable, joint force enhancing the ADF’s ability to achieve the nation’s Defence and maritime strategic objectives and interests throughout the region.”

“Exercise Sea Explorer enables our soldiers, sailors and aviators to practice a range of procedures and capabilities in complex and challenging scenarios.”

Commander Amphibious Task Force Aptain Maxfield

The training will intensify next month on Exercise Sea Raider when the Australian Amphibious Force take the lessons learnt on this exercise, and put them in to practice during a range of realistic amphibious assault and raid rehearsals as part Exercise Talisman Sabre.

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