Military exercise boost to economy
AUSTRALIAN forces will join their counterparts from the United States for four weeks of simulated war games in Queensland later this month. More than 6000 Australian and 11,000 US troops from various Navy, Army, Air Force, Marine and Special Forces units will be involved in the operation codenamed Talisman Sabre 2005 (TS05). The war games, a merger of the bi-annual Tandem Thrust and Crocodile operations, are expected to begin in Townsville on May 27 before TS05 officially starts in the Shoalwater Bay region off Rockhampton on June 12. Queensland last played host to military exercises between the two countries in 2003 when around 10,000 troops took part in various fictional scenarios. Australian Defence Force officials are hoping TS05 will further improve co-operation between Australian and US forces with troops undergoing an intensive training schedule. The exercise is expected to pour up to $5 million into local communities along the Central and North Queensland coasts.