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Essex Conducts RAS with Sirius

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070618-01
Release Date: 6/18/2007 11:22:00 AM

From USS Essex Public Affairs

USS ESSEX, At Sea (NNS) -- The Essex Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 7, flagship, USS Essex (LHD 2), conducted a replenishment at sea (RAS) June 15 with the Australian Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment vessel HMAS Sirius (AOR 266).

The refueling with Sirius is part of a series of cooperative events scheduled over the next month, as the Essex ESG participates in Exercise Talisman Saber 2007 (TS07).

Essex received more than 700,000 gallons of diesel fuel from Sirius during this flawless evolution.

According to Capt. Brian T. Donegan, Essex's commanding officer, events like this highlight the interoperability of the U.S. and Australian navies.

"Today's RAS really illustrated why full-scale, live exercises like TS07 are so important to maintaining our strong alliance," Donegan said. "Reviewing books and common procedures is no substitute for putting hands on hardware and actually moving fuel."

During the four-hour evolution, the two ships steamed side-by-side, with Sirius acting as the guide ship delivering fuel to Essex.

Conducting RAS allows Essex ESG ships participating in Exercise TS07 to remain fully mission-capable and carry out assigned tasks while at sea for a prolonged period.

"We spend a lot of time training Sailors on the different positions in the replenishment process," said Master Chief Boatswain's (SW/AW) Mate David Quinn. "It's great to work with another country like Australia knowing that they train just as hard to make challenging events like this go smoothly. It gives our Sailors an opportunity to show off the pride and professionalism they have in their work."

With RAS capability, allied ships are able to transfer fuel, ammunition, supplies and other cargo from one ship to another.

Talisman Saber is a U.S.- and Australian-led Joint Task Force exercise designed to prepare both nations for crisis action planning and the execution of contingency operations. Exercise TS07 will maintain a high level of interoperability between U.S. and Australian forces, demonstrating commitment to regional security and the U.S. and Australian military alliance. The exercise also supports increased flexibility and readiness, which are force multipliers in winning the global war on terrorism.

Essex is the only forward-deployed amphibious assault ship and serves Task Force 76, the Navy's only forward-deployed amphibious force. Task Force 76 is headquartered at White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, Japan, with an operating detachment in Sasebo, Japan.

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