INDIAN OCEAN –
The forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and the embarked Royal Australian Defense Force service members began the preliminary stages of Talisman Sabre 2015 off the Northwestern coast of Australia.
Bonhomme Richard is a vertical take-off aircraft carrier, designed to transport troops onto land from the sea using transport helicopters like the MV-22 Osprey and the MH-53 Sea Stallion. They also launch strike aircraft, the AV8B Harrier.
For two days Bonhomme Richard will rehearse every small detail of the beach landing of both air and surface assets in order to perfectly time their arrival ashore.
“There are a million moving pieces.” said Marine Capt. Joseph Popovich from, Denver, Colorado, “Trying to coordinate these flight operations can only be described as controlled chaos, but at the end of the day everything works out and we always complete the mission.”
Bonhomme Richard and the other U.S. ships of Expeditionary Strike Group Seven will flex communications, water space management, and timing during training and rehearsal in order to be ready for the Assault on July 11.
“The rehearsal portion is to make sure that all the coordination and timelines are met so that when we launch the LCACs and Ospreys during the main assault we can demonstrate our abilities to their fullest and work effectively in close coordination with the Royal Australian Defense Force,” said Chief Boatswain’s Mate Stephen Marksman, from Eugene, Oregon.
TS15 is a U.S. and Australian-led Combined Task Force operation preparing our militaries for crisis action planning and execution of contingency operations. Talisman Sabre 15 is designed to maintain a high level of interoperability between U.S. and Australian forces, demonstrating their commitment to a military alliance and regional security.