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NEWS | Nov. 15, 2019

Montgomery Operates with Royal Australian Navy in the South China Sea

Commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific

SOUTH CHINA SEA -- The Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Montgomery (LCS 8), Royal Australian Navy Anzac-class frigate HMAS Stuart (FFH 153) and fleet replenishment vessel HMAS Sirius (O 266) conducted operations together in the South China Sea, Nov. 6-12.

While transiting together at sea, Montgomery, Stuart and Sirius conducted communication drills, division tactics, bilateral flight operations, and a personnel exchange, all designed to address common maritime security priorities, enhance interoperability, and develop relationships that will benefit both navies for many years to come.

Also accomplished were two replenishments at sea (RAS) with Sirius, marking the first time an LCS has received fuel from an allied navy vessel while underway.

“Montgomery was able to safely and professional operate with two Royal Australian Navy ships when we met in open ocean, demonstrating that our navies are very similar tactically, technically and operationally,” said Cmdr. Matthew Richter, commanding officer of Montgomery Gold Crew. “The opportunity to train together and improve our maritime interoperability skills is great. Also, this is the first time that many of the crewmembers have sailed with our Australian allies, which makes this exercise very special for many.”

Stuart and Sirius are currently underway in the Indo-Pacific in support of regional security and stability.

“The best way to ensure stability and security in the region is to cooperate with our key Defence partners, and we welcome this opportunity to continue to train and exercise with the U.S. Navy in this region, as we have done for decades,” said Cmdr. Luke Ryan, commanding officer, HMAS Stuart. “Sharing technology, procedures and capability with the U.S. Navy in advanced maritime manoeuvres such as this helps to maintain enhanced interoperability and effectiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.”

Attached to Destroyer Squadron 7, Montgomery is on her rotational deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific.

U.S. 7th Fleet conducts forward-deployed naval operations in support of U.S. national interests in the Indo-Pacific area of operations. As the U.S. Navy’s largest numbered fleet, 7th Fleet interacts with 35 other maritime nations to build partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability, and prevent conflict.

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