Tortuga makes Talisman Saber 07 training a success
USS TORTUGA, Coral Sea – For more than two weeks, USS Tortuga (LSD 46) along with embarked Marines as well as Midshipmen on summer cruise have been conducting Exercise Talisman Saber 2007 (TS07) alongside their Australian counterparts.
By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Brandon A. Myrick, USS Tortuga Public Affairs
posted: June 30, 2007
Tortuga Sailors began the backload of the 3d Expeditionary Brigade’s 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard the ship June 28, putting a final stamp on what has been a successful scheme of maneuvers to put forces ashore in order to conduct exercise objectives.
Throughout the exercise, Tortuga Sailors operated soundly within the combined sea echelon by launching and recovering Landing Craft Air Cushions (LCACs) and handling both U.S. and Australian helicopters. The overall impact was getting people and cargo where it needed to be and showcasing interoperability between the forces, according to Tortuga’s senior leaders.
Exercise TS07, a U.S. / Australian- led joint task force operation preparing both militaries for crisis-action planning and execution of contingency operations. More than 20,000 U.S. and 12,000 Australian personnel participated in the military training exercise and each branch of the military trained together to enhance their combined and joint war fighting skills.
Tortuga Sailors trained side-by-side with the Australian military and providing an opportunity to practice working together in a combined and joint environment, test interoperability and refine procedures and doctrine.
“Training along side the Australian military was an opportunity for the Sailors to receive the training they require being on a forward-deployed ship,” said Tortuga’s Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Todd A. Lewis. “I commend ‘Team Tortuga’ for all their hard work and dedication.”
Tortuga’s well deck and flight deck were always ready to go throughout the exercise, as personnel and cargo were in constant motion. Even with the operational tempo high, Tortuga Sailors rose to the challenge—safely and proficiently.
“The evolutions were conducted safely and flawlessly throughout the entire training cycle,” said Chief Boatswain’s Mate (SW/AW) Earnest C. Pippen. “I give the credit to the training teams designated to train junior Sailors, and the junior Sailors hard work and willingness to learn.”
Highlighting the evolutions required of the ship during the exercise, was a refueling at sea with an Australian refueling vessel, sustaining Tortuga at sea and war fighting capabilities.
“Deck Department ensured the highest level of readiness while conducting the various training exercises,” said Pippen. “The crew always kept a positive attitude even with the high demands of this exercise.”
Quartermaster Seaman Kevin Bell, who was able to observe and work within combined ships movements as part of the navigation team said, “It was an honor to work with [the Australians] and I learned so much about how they operate.”
Tortuga embarked several Midshipmen who received first hand training on what a forward-deployed ship such as Tortuga does and how much work goes into a training scenario such as TS07.
“Deck Department assisted with providing us LCAC rides, small boat transfers and tours in various helicopters exercises,” said Midshipman 2nd Class Brittney Lambert. “I appreciate all their effort and I had a great time on board Tortuga.”
Exercise TS07 is designed to maintain a high level of interoperability between U.S. and Australian forces, demonstrating the U.S. and Australian commitment to their military alliance and regional security. The exercise also supports increased flexibility and readiness, which are force multipliers in winning the global war on terrorism.
USS Tortuga (LSD 46) is a dock landing ship serving under Commander, 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.