BRISBANE, Australia – USS Tortuga
(LSD 46) Sailors, embarked elements of the 31st Marine Expeditionary
unit and 37 midshipman on board for their summer cruise arrived in
Brisbane, Australia, June 6 for a four-day port visit in preparation
for the upcoming bilateral exercise Talisman Saber 2007 (TS 07).
Tortuga Sailors will enjoy the sites and sounds of Brisbane before the
ship, and its embarked elements, return to sea to conduct TS 07, which
is a month-long opportunity for U.S. and Australian forces to conduct
joint operations, test interoperability and refine cooperative
“It is a blessing and an honor to be able to visit a port such as
Brisbane,” said Commanding Officer Cmdr. Todd A. Lewis. “Many people
go their entire careers never having the opportunity to experience
Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, is often regarded as Australia’s
most livable city. Its subtropical climate makes Brisbane the perfect
venue for a vast array of outdoor activities for Sailors and Marines
to take full advantage of.
“We are in for a treat. This will be a great opportunity for Tortuga
to enjoy the sights and hospitality of this city,” said Lewis.
The Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) representatives for Tortuga
have arranged for a variety of planned events for Sailors and Marines
to participate in, such as crocodile tours, a 4WD ECO tour, SCUBA
diving trips and surfing tours that will take participants along the
coastline in search of Australia’s best beaches.
“I have always wanted to visit Australia for as long as I can
remember,” said Fire Controlman 3rd Class Chris M. Searles. “This is a
once in a lifetime opportunity, and I plan to take full advantage of
the tours offered.”
While there are plenty of leisurely activities for the Sailors and
Marines to take part in while visiting Brisbane, some crew members are
dedicating some of their liberty hours to helping the local community.
Tortuga’s Sailors and Marines will participate in a community service
project at the Young Care apartment buildings assisting in the upkeep
of apartments for less fortunate children.
“Participating in community service projects allows Sailors and
Marines the chance to see the host country’s culture first hand,” said
Tortuga’s Community Relations Director, Chief Boatswains Mate (SW/AW)
Earnest C. Pippen
According to Pippen, there will be a total of 35 Sailors and 15
Marines that will take part in the community relations projects in
Exercise Talisman Saber 07 (TS07) is a U.S. and Australian lead Joint
Task Force operation preparing our militaries for crisis action
planning and execution of contingency operations. TS07 is designed to
maintain a high level of interoperability between U.S. and Australian
forces, demonstrating the U. S. and Australian commitment to our
military alliance and regional security. The exercise also supports
increased flexibility and readiness, which are force multipliers in
winning the Global War on Terror. USS Tortuga (LSD 46) is
forward-deployed out of Sasebo, Japan and serves Task Force 76, the
Navy’s only forward-deployed amphibious force. 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.