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Australian Officers Embark Boxer to Prepare for Talisman Saber '05

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050607-03
Release Date: 6/7/2005 12:23:00 PM

By Lithographer’s Mate Seaman Jessica R. Vargas, USS Boxer Public Affairs

USS BOXER (NNS) -- Three Australian naval officers from Maritime Headquarters in Sydney and two army officers from 5 Aviation Regiment in Townsville embarked USS Boxer (LHD 4) May 24 to assist in Navy preparations for Exercise Talisman Saber ‘05.

Talisman Saber is a multinational exercise involving more than 16,000 service members from the Australian army and navy and the U.S. Navy.

Australian army Capt. Steven H. Cleggett, Aircraft Maintenance officer for Black Hawk Squadron, is working closely with Boxer’s Aircraft Maintenance Officer Lt. Cmdr. Brian Kudrna. Together, they are ensuring that the needs of exercise participants will be met.

”The knowledge and the insight into large operations that the ship's aircraft maintenance officer has is crucial. I am able to find out any intricacies with shipborne operations and can establish what facilities [the ship has] in case we need support,” Cleggett said.

While aboard Boxer, the Australian officers reviewed the ship’s capabilities and equipment. This process will help to ensure smoother integration of U.S. and Australian systems and personnel.

According to Lt. Cmdr. Michael Pereira, operations officer for Tactical Air Control Squadron 12, the Australians are great shipmates and friends.

“We really enjoy working with the Australian service members and look forward to a great exercise with them,” Pereira said.

For some Australian officers, it was the first experience being aboard a multipurpose amphibious assault ship.

“Boxer is big and fantastic. The ship is in great condition and has some amazing facilities on board,” said Capt. Dave Marco, who is one of the army officers with 5 Aviation Regiment. “The crew is outstanding and very friendly. I enjoy interacting and learning all about U.S. armed forces,” Marco said.

The knowledge shared between the participating U.S. and Australian forces during Talisman Saber ’05 will serve as a solid foundation for future allied operations as the need may arise.


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