Old friends meet up at sea

Published on LEUT Grant McDuling (author), LSIS Peter Thompson (photographer)

Topic(s): Exercise TALISMAN SABRE, HMAS Sydney (IV)

HMAS Sydney (IV) Commanding Officer, Commander Karl Brinckmann (right), with US Navy Sonar Technician, Senior Chief Greg Eardley of the Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS Preble, during Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 2013.  (photo: LSIS Peter Thompson)
HMAS Sydney (IV) Commanding Officer, Commander Karl Brinckmann (right), with US Navy Sonar Technician, Senior Chief Greg Eardley of the Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS Preble, during Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 2013.

After welcoming a United States Navy Anti Submarine Warfare Specialist onboard HMAS Sydney (IV) during her recent embed with the US Navy's 7th Fleet, the ship is now hoping to use the friendly advantage during the joint Australian-US Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 2013 (TS13).

Prior to the commencement of TS13, US Navy Senior Chief Greg Eardley volunteered to join Sydney for a period during the embed.

His reason for volunteering was one of personal connection and shared history when he discovered Sydney’s Commanding Officer was Commander Karl Brinckmann, a former colleague.

It was 2002 when the then Lieutenant Commander Brinckmann and Petty Officer 1st Class Eardley first met while  they served together for two years at the Fleet Anti Submarine Warfare Centre in San Diego, where LCDR Brinkman was on exchange.

“We were both instructing the US Destroyer Squadrons in conducting Task Group Anti Submarine Warfare,” CMDR Brinckmann said.

“We got to operate with the carriers at that time and are still doing it over ten years later.”

While embedded within the United States Navy’s 7th Fleet George Washington Carrier Strike Group Sydney was looking for an American to join the ship as part of its training and familiarisation goals.

Senior Chief Eardley also explained that as he always enjoys spending time in ships of foreign navies, he decided to take a closer look into the opportunity.

“I jumped onto the internet and looked up the details of the ship, as soon as I saw that Commander Brinckmann was the Commanding Officer, I knew that was the ship for me,” Senior Chief Eardley said.

“And to make matters even more attractive, the ship was in Japan, so for me that was a bonus, being based at Pearl Harbor.”

Sydney recently embedded in the United States Navy’s 7th Fleet George Washington Carrier Strike Group, which is stationed at Yokosuka, Japan. The ship sailed from her home port of Fleet Base East, in Sydney, Australia on 22 April, 2013 for a five month embed. She is currently participating in Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 2013 where more than 28,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and women are taking to the sea, land and sky in northern Australia as part of the biennial training activity.