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Tortuga Deploys for Talisman Saber 07

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070527-02
Release Date: 5/27/2007 9:04:00 AM

From Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Brandon A. Myrick,

the USS Tortuga Public Affairs

USS TORTUGA, At sea (NNS) -- Dock landing ship USS Tortuga (LSD 46) departed its forward-deployed home of Sasebo, Japan, May 20 to begin the transit to participate in Talisman Saber 07 (TS07).

TS07 is a bilateral command post and field training exercise with more than 20,000 U.S. and 12,000 Australian personnel and is designed to maintain a high level of interoperability between the two forces.

“This exercise will provide an opportunity for personnel from two countries and each branch of the military to train together and enhance their combined and joint warfighting skills,” said Commanding Officer Cmdr. Todd A. Lewis.

The Tortuga crew will be joined by two other Essex Amphibious Readiness Group ships: amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LPD 2) and amphibious transport dock USS Juneau (LPD 10). They will assist in the training of U.S. and Australian joint task force and operations staff in crisis action planning for execution of contingency operations.

“The exercise provides an opportunity to practice working together in a combined and joint environment, test interoperability and to refine procedures and doctrine,” said Tortuga’s Operations Officer Lt. Robert D. Starks. “U.S. and Australian forces working together is a model alliance in the Asia Pacific region.”

While Tortuga Sailors train with their Australian counterparts, this exercise will also allow them to explore a country not seen often by U.S. Naval forces.

“I think the experience will be amazing and I am really looking forward to it,” said Fire Controlman 3rd Class Michael P. Coyle. “I never thought when I joined the Navy I would ever get the chance to visit Australia, let alone work alongside their military.”

Talisman Saber provides an opportunity for Australian and American military personnel to fine tune their shared skills by exchanging ideas with units they are not normally accustomed to working with.

“U.S. participation in exercise TS07 is demonstrating our commitment to a partner nation,” said Lewis. “The Australian-U.S. relationship is a cornerstone of peace and stability in the region which are force multipliers in winning the global war on terror.”

USS Tortuga serves under Expeditionary Strike Group 7/Task Force 76, the Navy’s only forward-deployed amphibious force. ESG 7/Task Force 76 is headquartered at White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, Japan, with an operating detachment in Sasebo, Japan.

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