Special forces from Australia’s Tactical Assault Group (East) and the U.S. Marine Corps, conducted a joint seaborne and airborne boarding of a ship underway in the waters off Yeppoon as part of Exercise Talisman Saber 2013.
Special forces rigid-hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) successfully boarded a small team to secure an area of the ship before further teams boarded from RHIBs and others fast-roped onto the deck from Australian Army Black Hawk helicopters.
The special forces took control of the suspect vessel, engaged the ‘enemy’ and conducted a thorough search before being winched back onboard the Black Hawks and returning to base.
Royal Australian Navy refuelling tanker HMAS Sirius acted as the ‘suspect’ vessel during the exercise scenario.
The ADF has two Tactical Assault Groups – East (Sydney) and West (Perth) – tasked with direct action counter-terrorism and hostage recovery. Tactical Assault Group (East) is comprised of Australian Army soldiers from 2nd Commando Regiment, Special Operations Engineer Regiment, Special Operations Logistics Squadron and Royal Australian Navy clearance divers.