By Lt. Adagray Willis, Amphibious Squadron Eleven Public Affairs
CORAL SEA (NNS) — Seventeen ships from the United States, Australia, Canada and Japan sailed together in formation for a massive photo exercise July 10, to signify the beginning of naval maneuvers as part of Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019.
This year’s Talisman Sabre is focused on defending the rights, freedoms, and uses of the sea, air, space and cyberspace guaranteed to all nations under international law and considered essential to prosperity, stability and security in the Indo-Pacific region.
“Interoperability and working alongside allies and partners really is the future, particularly in the Pacific. It’s just too important, too large a region, for us not to reach out and work together with our great allies and partners in the region,” said Rear Admiral Fred Kacher, Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 7. “Australia in particular, in a very important part of the world, has been a steadfast and longstanding ally who has fought and served alongside us for over a century. So for us, having the chance to integrate with them in a high-end exercise like Talisman Sabre is a tremendous opportunity.”
U.S. naval participation included units from the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group and Wasp Expeditionary Strike Group. The Royal Australian Navy participated with the Canberra-class landing helicopter dock (LHD) lead ship HMAS Canberra (LO2) and Canberra-class landing helicopter dock (LHD) HMAS Adelaide (LO1). Japan also participated in the photo exercise with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force sumi-class amphibious transport dock ship JS Kunisaki (LST 4003) and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Hyga-class helicopter destroyer JS Ise (DDH 182), while Canada represented with their Royal Canadian Navy Halifax-class frigate HMCS Regina (FFH 334) and auxiliary oiler replenishment MV Asterix (T-AKE-14).
“Talisman Sabre ‘19 is a tremendous opportunity for the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group to train in a joint and combined environment, improve our sailors’ proficiency and sharpen our warfighting skills,” said Rear Admiral Karl Thomas, Commander, Task Force 70. “As a forward deployed force, we routinely train and operate alongside our allies, partners and friends, but complex exercises like this ensure we can operate seamlessly as one lethal and cohesive team throughout this important Indo-Pacific region.”
The bilateral exercise provides an opportunity to fully integrate all domains of warfare, to include air, land, maritime, space, and information, and enhance Australian and U.S. interoperability in combined and joint warfare at the tactical level by conducting a single field training exercise, focused on amphibious operations.
Reagan (CVN 76), Carrier Air Wing Five, Destroyer Squadron 15, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) and the Arleigh Burke Class guided-missile destroyer USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110), and Wasp Expeditionary Strike Group, consisting of Amphibious Squadron 11, with embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG 85), and Legend-class cutter USCGC Stratton (WMSL 752), are participating in Talisman Sabre 2019 off the coast of Northern Australia. A bilateral, biennial event, Talisman Sabre is designed to improve U.S. and Australian combat training, readiness and interoperability through realistic, relevant training necessary to maintain regional security, peace and stability.