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USS Lassen Departs Sydney

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070501-07
Release Date: 5/1/2007 3:52:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Gabriel S. Weber, Fleet Public Affairs Center, Detachment Japan

SYDNEY, Australia (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen (DDG 82) departed Sydney April 27, after a four-day port visit.

The ship, arrived in Sydney April 23 for the scheduled visit to participate in the Australia-New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) Day commemoration events and provide tours and demonstrations of its capabilities to industry leaders.

After arriving in Sydney, Lassen embarked more than 50
passengers, including Australian military members and civilian media, and headed to sea in the company of a Royal Australian Navy ship and aircraft to provide an air-warfare demonstration.

“As a whole I think it went very well. I think the crew did an outstanding job during the demonstration,” said Cmdr. Marshall Brown, Lassen’s commanding officer.

“Working together with partner nations is critical to ensuring peace and stability in the region. Interoperability between our two navies is a key element of our partnership,” Brown said.

He added that Australia’s naval forces and those of the United States have many shared traditions and a common background.

“The hospitality shown us here is indicative of the strong and continuing relationship that exists between our two nations,” Brown said.

As part of the exercise, Lassen’s crew demonstrated the ship’s ability to detect and repel aircraft at long range, according to Fire Controlman 2nd Class (SW) Kenneth Queen, a combat systems technician.

“We really displayed our engagement capabilities,” said Queen. “We were engaging multiple aircraft at maximum range and had no technical difficulties. It was awesome.”

On the third day in port, more than 60 Lassen Sailors marched through central Sydney alongside members of the Australian military as part of the ANZAC Day parade.

The Lassen Sailors received a very warm welcome from the thousands of onlookers lining the streets, according to Operations Specialist Seaman Recruit Andrew Hill, one of the participants.

“I’m going to remember this day forever,” he said. “I’ve never felt so proud to wear this uniform before.”

Sailors from Lassen also participated in multiple community relations projects (COMRELs) while in Sydney. The Hospitality in Home program, one such COMREL, partnered numerous Lassen Sailors with local residents for a day of cultural exchange.

Angela Gaare, one of the residents who participated in the Hospitality in Home program, said she enjoys working with U.S. Sailors while they are in port and thinks it provides an important morale boost.

“It’s great to give guys the opportunity to do something that they wouldn’t expect,” said Gaare. “We know that it’s probably been a while since [they’ve] seen [their] families.”

According to Brown, the port visit was a success, largely due to the dedication of his Sailors.

“They absolutely met all the goals I had for them,” said Brown. “They conducted themselves very well while in Sydney. I’m really proud of how the crew showcased their training and the ship’s technology.”

Lassen is assigned to Destroyer Squadron 15 and is currently operating in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility. Operating in the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean, the U.S. 7th Fleet is the largest of the forward-deployed U.S. fleets, with approximately 50 ships, 120 aircraft and 20,000 Sailors and Marines assigned at any given time.

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