Friends from across the sea: HMAS Perth welcomes US Navy visitors

Published on LEUT Andrew Herring (author), LSIS Yuri Ramsey (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Perth (F157), Exercise TALISMAN SABRE

US Navy amphibious landing ship USS Germantown steaming in the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland during exercise TALISMAN SABRE 2013. (photo: LSIS Yuri Ramsey)
US Navy amphibious landing ship USS Germantown steaming in the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland during exercise TALISMAN SABRE 2013.

Exercise TALISMAN SABRE gave Australian and US Navy sailors the chance to ‘see how the other half live’ when personnel from the Anzac class frigate HMAS Perth and the US Navy amphibious landing ship USS Germantown ‘cross decked’.

The Germantown sailors who came aboard Perth, received a tour of the ship and enjoyed a meal in the main cafe with their Australian counterparts.

The visit gave sailors from both ships the chance to experience each other’s working and living environment, see each ship’s capabilities and share their experiences.

Although the US sailors visiting Perth were impressed with her recently upgraded operations room and missile defence systems, they particularly enjoyed the food served on board.

“Cross decking opportunities like this are vital to building mutual understanding between allied navies, which helps us improve our ability to work together,” HMAS Perth Commanding Officer Captain Lee Goddard said.

Perth has been in the Coral Sea participating in Exercise TALISMAN SABRE, along with other Royal Australian Navy vessels HMA Ships Choules, Sydney, Waller, Tarakan and Sirius, together with helicopters from 816 and 808 Squadrons.

Also involved in TALISMAN SABRE were the Spanish combat support ship ESPS Cantabria and ships from the US Navy’s 7th Fleet, including the USS George Washington aircraft carrier strike group and an expeditionary strike group led by Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard.

Exercise TALISMAN SABRE (15 July-5 August) is a major bilateral exercise designed to improve training and interoperability between Australian and United States military forces and other government agencies.

Around 28,000 Australian and US personnel took part in the 21-day exercise, which has been conducted in the Coral Sea and military training areas in central and northern Queensland. Supporting activities have also been underway in the waters of the Timor and Arafura Seas, and throughout Queensland and the Northern Territory.