Australia and the US have started their largest-ever combined military drills involving various activities, mostly at sea. As well as honing military skills, the exercises are aimed at sending a message to “friends, allies, partners and potential adversaries.”

“This realistic and challenging exercise provides endless opportunities for our nations to innovatively prepare for regional and global security challenges,” the US Pacific Command chief, Admiral Harry Harris, said Thursday at the opening ceremony of the biennial Talisman Saber drills.

Speaking on board the ‘USS Bonhomme Richard,’ an amphibious assault ship, Harris called on the forces “to be faster, more precise, more cost-effective, and – most importantly – more lethal.”

“I’m pleased about that message it sends our friends, allies, partners and potential adversaries,” he told reporters, as quoted by Reuters.

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