USS TORTUGA, At sea – Dock landing
ship USS Tortuga (LSD 46) departed its forward-deployed home of
Sasebo, Japan, May 20 to begin the transit in order to participate in
Talisman Saber 07 (TS07).
TS07 is a bilateral command post and field training exercise with more
than 20,000 U.S. and 12,000 Australian personnel participating in the
military training exercise and is designed to maintain a high level of
interoperability between the two forces.
“This exercise will provide an opportunity for personnel from two
countries and each branch of the military to train together and
enhance their combined and joint war fighting skills,” said Commanding
Officer Cmdr. Todd A. Lewis.
The Tortuga crew will be joined by two other Essex Amphibious
Readiness Group ships: amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LPD 2) and
amphibious transport dock USS Juneau (LPD 10). They will assist in the
training of U.S. and Australian joint task force and operations staff
in crisis action planning for execution of contingency operations.
“The exercise provides an opportunity to practice working together in
a combined and joint environment, test interoperability and to refine
procedures and doctrine,” said Tortuga’s Operations Officer Lt. Robert
D. Starks. “U.S. and Australian forces working together is a model
alliance in the Asia pacific region.”
While Tortuga Sailors train with their Australian counterparts, this
exercise will also allow them to explore a country not seen often by
U.S. Naval forces.
“I think the experience will be amazing and I am really looking
forward to it,” said Fire Controlman 3rd Class Michael P. Coyle. “I
never thought when I joined the Navy I would ever get the chance to
visit Australia, let alone work alongside their military.”
Talisman Saber provides an opportunity for Australian and American
military personnel to fine-tune their shared skills by exchanging
ideas with units they are not normally accustomed to working with.
“U.S. participation in exercise TS07 is demonstrating our commitment
to a partner nation,” said Lewis. “The Australian- U.S. relationship
is a cornerstone of peace and stability in the region which are force
multipliers in winning the global war on terror.”
USS Tortuga (LSD 46) is a dock landing ship serving under Commander,
Expeditionary Strike Group 7/Task Force 76, the Navy’s only
forward-deployed amphibious force. ESG 7/Task Force 76 is
headquartered at White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, Japan, with an
operating detachment in Sasebo, Japan.
For more information on CTF 76, visit http://www.ctf76.navy.mil.