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NEWS | Aug. 24, 2022

CSG 7 Visits Australia, Talks Interoperability

By Lt. Cmdr. Robert Reinheimer

CANBERRA, Australia – Rear Adm. Rick Seif, commander, Submarine Group (CSG) 7/Task Force (CTF) 74, visited multiple sites in Australia as part of a visit to highlight the importance of interoperability between U.S. and Royal Australian Navy (RAN) forces to regional security, Aug. 14-16, 2022.

During his time in Canberra, Seif met with Commodore Tom Phillips, Director General, Submarines (DGSM). The two exchanged briefs outlining their respective submarine forces, highlighting the need for continued cooperation between allies and like-minded partners to ensure regional security and stability.

Seif also traveled to the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Headquarters Joint Operations Center (HQJOC). HQJOC is the operational headquarters responsible for the command and control of global ADF operations in accordance with Australia’s national interests. HQJOC works with allies such as the U.S. to coordinate interoperability and execute the joint conduct of missions.

In Sydney, Seif visited RAN military facilities HMAS Kuttabul and HMAS Watson. While at Kuttabul, Seif toured RAN’s Fleet Base East, where the Emory S. Land-class submarine tender, USS Frank Cable (AS 40), had visited earlier in the year as part of their deployment in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. Seif also had lunch with Rear Adm. Jonathan Earley, commander, Australian Fleet, discussing joint operation opportunities and training between the U.S. and Australian navies.

At Watson, Seif gave a brief on his role as commander, Submarine Group 7 to a group of RAN department head students and toured the RAN’s modern training facilities, such as the Navy Synthetic Warfare Center (NSWC). The NSWC hosts warfare training exercises as well as integrated international exercises which enable the RAN to virtually train with allies, including the U.S. Navy. The simulators at NSWC allows for Sailors’ skills to be honed and for bridge watch teams to become familiar with each other prior to embarking on operations at sea.

“This trip was a great opportunity for me to engage with our close allies in the Royal Australian Navy and to see how our undersea forces can best work together in the future," said Seif. "We highly value our allies and partners throughout the region and understand it is these relationships and shared interests that allow us to work together across the full range of military operations to help ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region.”

Submarine Group 7 is responsible for coordinating a diverse fleet of submarines, surface ships and aircraft deployed to the Western Pacific and the Middle East; two forward-deployed submarine tenders and five attack submarines homeported in Guam; Submarine Squadron 21 in Bahrain; five ocean surveillance ships when tasked for theater undersea warfare operations, and two oceanographic survey vessels. Under CSG 7 are two task forces: CTF 74 and CTF 54, which provide theater anti-submarine warfare support from the Red Sea to the International Date Line.

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