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Chargé d’Affaires Gavin Sundwall Speech – Talisman Sabre 2021 Opening Ceremony
July 14, 2021

As delivered 
July 14. 2021 – RAAF Base Amberley, Queensland

“It is a great pleasure to be with you here today at RAAF Base Amberley for the ninth iteration of Talisman Sabre.

Even amidst a global pandemic, it is an important achievement that we are able to come together for this significant bilateral military training exercise.

We extend our thanks to the Australian and Queensland governments for finding a way to allow Talisman Sabre to go forward safely during this global pandemic.

To all those participating in and observing Talisman Sabre, thank you for your adherence to COVID guidelines that are the reason we can gather here safely today.

Although this occasion looks different than it has in the past due to COVID-19, our servicemen and women are still able to execute this crucial, high-level, bilateral exercise, in the presence of our many allies and partners invited to observe.

Now, more than ever, we can appreciate the significance of essential workers and essential work such as this exercise, which ensures the future security and prosperity of all our nations.

Since 2005, Talisman Sabre has given us an opportunity to enhance our collective capabilities and to demonstrate our ability to work together during times of need.

As our militaries come together throughout this month to train, they help us advance an open, interconnected, resilient, and secure Indo-Pacific, strengthening our relationships and interoperability among key allies.

Talisman Sabre is an example of the deep levels of trust and cooperation we share, built over decades of operating and training together – a trust that is further signified by this year’s commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the ANZUS treaty.

Signed at the Presidio in San Francisco on September 1st, 1951, the ANZUS Treaty – along with our five-eyes partnership – has served as the bedrock of our relationship.

It established formally, and for all time, what Americans and Australians know deep down at our very core about our relationship – we have always been there for each other, and we always will.

We Americans take great pride in being Australia’s only treaty ally.

Over the past seventy years, hundreds of thousands of Australians and Americans have served side-by-side, shoulder-to-shoulder, throughout the world to keep us safe.

Together, we have worked tirelessly to extend security and prosperity throughout the Indo-Pacific region, and the world.

Today, the American Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen, and Guardians continue that tradition alongside their Australian Army, Royal Australian Navy, and Royal Australian Air Force counterparts.

Indeed, there are no two militaries that work more closely together than ours.

Our Alliance – and the strong democratic values at its core – will continue to deliver for Australians, Americans, and our friends and partners throughout the Indo-Pacific.

In the face of adversity, whether it be security concerns, combat operations, or humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts, Talisman Sabre has proven to us time and time again that we are flexible and ready for anything.  Thank you.”