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Australia, U.S. Teamwork with Weather

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070627-04
Release Date: 6/27/2007 2:20:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Andrew D. Brantley, USS Essex Public Affairs

USS ESSEX , At Sea (NNS) -- During Talisman Saber 2007, Essex Sailors integrated with Australian forces to create a combined meteorological team June 6-25, providing up-to-date charts and maps for the warfighters.

Sharing space in Essex’s Meteorological and Oceanographic Office (METOC), aerographer's mates (AGs) and Australian 1st Topographical Survey Squadron learned the similarities of their jobs.

Elements of the Australian squadron worked with Essex to survey beaches and determine the best place to conduct an amphibious assault landing. In addition, they helped pinpoint key structures along the roadside where terrain could be hazardous for the joint ground forces.

“I am really enjoying Essex,” said Australian Army Sapper Joshua Heart. “The crew is really top notch, so welcoming, and has helped me with everything. I haven’t had any problems finding my way around the ship or getting settled.”

During the three-week exercise, AGs learned about the surveying software Australians used to create topographical maps and to chart the course the beach forces will follow after landing. In turn, the Australians learned about the Doppler radar and weather balloons.

“It’s not everyday we get the privilege to share work spaces with the distinguished Australian military,” said Aerographer’s Mate 3rd Class (AW) Robert King. “They keep the mood in our shop lighthearted and fun. They are very curious about our jobs, as we are theirs. I will really miss them when they leave.”

The team charts environmental barriers such as coral reefs and wildlife preservation in the Talisman Saber amphibious operating area.

The team also charts ocean conditions and forecasts the weather.

“It's been great getting to experience all the coalition working together as a whole,” said Lt. Richard Bean who was the acting METOC officer for the Australians. “The amount of resources the Sailors and Marines provide are great. I have definitely enjoyed working as a team.”

Since the start of the exercise, the AGs and topographers have produced almost 50 maps and dozens of weather forecasts to be sent to all coalition forces included in Talisman Saber.

Talisman Saber is a biennial U.S.- and Australian-led joint task force exercise designed to prepare both nations for crisis action planning and the execution of contingency operations. The exercise will maintain a high level of interoperability between U.S. and Australian forces, demonstrating commitment to regional security and the U.S. and Australian 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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