Australia, United States Send Message With Biggest-Ever Military Exercise

June 29, 2017 10:51 am Last Updated: June 29, 2017 10:51 am

Australia and the United States are holding their largest joint military exercise ever—33,000 troops—to be better prepared to deal with issues in the South Pacific.

The exercise also sends a signal, said the U.S. top military commander in the Pacific.

“I’m pleased about that message it sends to our friends, allies, partners and potential adversaries. I think this demonstrates the importance of alliances in general and the value of this alliance in particular,” said Admiral Harry Harris, Commander of U.S. Pacific Command.

The exercises began Thursday, june 29 and will include training in land and air operations but will focus on the sea.

(L-R) U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Marc Dalton, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command Admiral Harry Harris and Australian Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher participate in a ceremony marking the start of Talisman Saber 2017, a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Sydney, Australia, June 29, 2017. (REUTERS/Jason Reed)
(L-R) U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Marc Dalton, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command Admiral Harry Harris and Australian Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher participate in a ceremony marking the start of Talisman Saber 2017, a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Sydney, Australia, June 29, 2017. (REUTERS/Jason Reed)

It’s a show of force that the two countries hope some adversaries, or potential adversaries, take note of.

China’s aggression in the South China Sea is an ongoing concern and has raised fears of a confrontation. So too has ISIS taking the city of Marawi in the Philippines hostage.

“What’s going on in Marawi city is a wake up call for the region. I believe that ISIS is trying to gain a foothold in the Indo Asia Pacific and I think it behoves all free nations to take a stand and play a part in defeating ISIS,” said Harris.

The Philippine government says people in the city are being forced to convert to Islam and that rape is common.

The joint exercise will last a month and take place in Australian territorial waters.

The USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship manoeuvres into port in front of the Sydney Opera House in Australia, June 29, 2017 after a ceremony on board the ship marking the start of Talisman Saber 2017, a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia.    REUTERS/David Gray
The USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship manoeuvres into port in front of the Sydney Opera House in Australia, June 29, 2017 after a ceremony on board the ship marking the start of Talisman Saber 2017, a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia. (REUTERS/David Gray)

Journalists record activities aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship off the coast of Sydney, Australia, before a ceremony marking the start of Talisman Saber 2017, a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia June 29, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Journalists record activities aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship off the coast of Sydney, Australia, before a ceremony marking the start of Talisman Saber 2017, a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia June 29, 2017. (REUTERS/Jason Reed)

A crewman aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship guides the press off a U.S. Marines MV-22B Osprey Aircraft before a ceremony marking the start of Talisman Saber 2017, a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia off the coast of Sydney, Australia, June 29, 2017.   REUTERS/Jason Reed
A crewman aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship guides the press off a U.S. Marines MV-22B Osprey Aircraft before a ceremony marking the start of Talisman Saber 2017, a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia off the coast of Sydney, Australia, June 29, 2017. (REUTERS/Jason Reed)

A crewman aboard a U.S. Marines MV-22B Osprey Aircraft looks out over the deck of the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship before landing on it off the coast of Sydney, Australia, at the start of Talisman Saber 2017, a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia June 29, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Reed
A crewman aboard a U.S. Marines MV-22B Osprey Aircraft looks out over the deck of the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship before landing on it off the coast of Sydney, Australia, at the start of Talisman Saber 2017, a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia June 29, 2017. (REUTERS/Jason Reed)

U.S. Marines aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship stand in formation during a ceremony marking the start of Talisman Saber 2017, a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship on the the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Sydney, Australia, June 29, 2017.    REUTERS/Jason Reed
U.S. Marines aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship stand in formation during a ceremony marking the start of Talisman Saber 2017, a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship on the the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Sydney, Australia, June 29, 2017. (REUTERS/Jason Reed)

Participants in a ceremony marking the start of Talisman Saber 2017, a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia, arrive on a U.S. Marines MV-22B Osprey Aircraft on the deck of the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship off the coast of Sydney, Australia, June 29, 2017.   REUTERS/Jason Reed
Participants in a ceremony marking the start of Talisman Saber 2017, a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia, arrive on a U.S. Marines MV-22B Osprey Aircraft on the deck of the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship off the coast of Sydney, Australia, June 29, 2017. (REUTERS/Jason Reed)

U.S. Navy Admiral Harry Harris (L), Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, shakes hands with Australian Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher during a ceremony for Talisman Saber 2017, a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Sydney, Australia, June 29, 2017.    REUTERS/Jason Reed
U.S. Navy Admiral Harry Harris (L), Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, shakes hands with Australian Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher during a ceremony for Talisman Saber 2017, a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Sydney, Australia, June 29, 2017. (REUTERS/Jason Reed)

The USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship sails in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Sydney, Australia, after a ceremony on board the ship marking the start of Talisman Saber 2017, a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia,  June 29, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Reed
The USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship sails in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Sydney, Australia, after a ceremony on board the ship marking the start of Talisman Saber 2017, a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia, June 29, 2017. (REUTERS/Jason Reed)

U.S. Marines aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship stand in formation during a ceremony marking the start of Talisman Saber 2017, a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship on the the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Sydney, Australia, June 29, 2017.    REUTERS/Jason Reed
U.S. Marines aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship stand in formation during a ceremony marking the start of Talisman Saber 2017, a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship on the the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Sydney, Australia, June 29, 2017. (REUTERS/Jason Reed)

A member of the Australian Army sits in the audience alongside a U.S. flag as the backdrop of a ceremony marking the start of Talisman Saber 2017, a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia, aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship on the the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Sydney, Australia, June 29, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Reed
A member of the Australian Army sits in the audience alongside a U.S. flag as the backdrop of a ceremony marking the start of Talisman Saber 2017, a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia, aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship on the the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Sydney, Australia, June 29, 2017. (REUTERS/Jason Reed)

A flag party of U.S. Marines and Navy personnel take part in a ceremony marking the start of Talisman Saber 2017, a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship on the the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Sydney, Australia, June 29, 2017.    REUTERS/Jason Reed
A flag party of U.S. Marines and Navy personnel take part in a ceremony marking the start of Talisman Saber 2017, a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship on the the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Sydney, Australia, June 29, 2017. (REUTERS/Jason Reed)

U.S. Navy Admiral Harry Harris, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, and Australian Navy Vice Admiral David Johnston unfurl the flag for Talisman Saber 2017, a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia, aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Sydney, Australia, June 29, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Reed
U.S. Navy Admiral Harry Harris, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, and Australian Navy Vice Admiral David Johnston unfurl the flag for Talisman Saber 2017, a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia, aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Sydney, Australia, June 29, 2017. (REUTERS/Jason Reed)

U.S. Navy Admiral Harry Harris, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, salutes at a ceremony marking the start of Talisman Saber 2017, a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia, aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Sydney, Australia, June 29, 2017.  REUTERS/Jason Reed
U.S. Navy Admiral Harry Harris, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, salutes at a ceremony marking the start of Talisman Saber 2017, a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia, aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Sydney, Australia, June 29, 2017. (REUTERS/Jason Reed)

USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship Executive Officer Rich Lebron (2nd R) speaks to Australian journalists in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Sydney, Australia, before a ceremony marking the start of Talisman Saber 2017, a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia June 29, 2017.  REUTERS/Jason Reed
USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship Executive Officer Rich Lebron (2nd R) speaks to Australian journalists in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Sydney, Australia, before a ceremony marking the start of Talisman Saber 2017, a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia June 29, 2017. (REUTERS/Jason Reed)

A U.S. Navy Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) appears from the stern of the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship during events marking the start of Talisman Saber 2017, a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia, off the coast of Sydney, Australia July 29, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Reed
A U.S. Navy Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) appears from the stern of the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship during events marking the start of Talisman Saber 2017, a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia, off the coast of Sydney, Australia July 29, 2017. (REUTERS/Jason Reed)