Defense & National Security

All Americans ‘TALO’ train with South African airborne forces

A military aircraft sets down on a quiet South African airport late at night, and within minutes a large group of Soldiers have secured the area and seen the aircraft depart. Though an irate airport manager soon arrives on the scene, the Soldiers soothe his fears and eventually are granted residence at the airport, which they will use as a staging base for a larger operation the following night. Called a Tactical Air Landing Operation, or TALO, the mission is part of Exercise Shared Accord 2013, a joint exercise between the South African and U.S. militaries meant to increase capacity and enhance interoperability between the two forces. Soldiers involved included detachments from medical, engineer, intelligence and maintenance units along with paratroopers from the 1st South African Airborne Brigade and the 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army. The TALO at East London Airport is the prelude to another assault, and serves the purpose of shortening lines of supply and communication prior to that assault. Includes sound bites from South African Army Col. Andy Mhatu, commander of the 1st Airborne Brigade, Capt. Craig Arnold, with 2nd Bde., 82nd Abn. Div. and South African Navy Lt. Cdr. Andy Pieterse, airport manager roleplayer.

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