Jul 15, 2013

Colonel John Merna (left), commanding officer of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit; Sgt. Maj. G. “Butch” Vasquez (middle), sergeant major of the 31st MEU; and Navy Capt. Cathal O’Connor (right), Commodore of Amphibious Squadron 11, listen to Australian Army veteran Ian Power recall his experiences from the Vietnam War during the opening ceremony of exercise Talisman Saber 2013, here, July 14. The Marines and Sailors of the 31st MEU, PHIBRON 11, and Expeditionary Strike Group 7 will train alongside a joint U.S. force that totals approximately 18,000 personnel, as well as approximately 9,000 Australian service members in the fifth iteration of Talisman Saber, a month-long biennial exercise designed to enhance multilateral collaboration in support of future combined operations, natural disaster, humanitarian and emergency response.

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