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NEWS | July 20, 2015

George Washington Carrier Strike Group Strengthens Alliance with Australia, New Zealand during Talisman Sabre

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Shayla D. Hamilton,

TIMOR SEA (NNS) -- The George Washington Carrier Strike Group (GWCSG) concluded its participation in exercise Talisman Sabre 2015 (TS15), July 18.

"During TS15 we demonstrated our pacific partnership with the Australians and Kiwis," said Cmdr. Michael Posey, lead TS15 planner, Commander Task Force 70. "The first level of TS15 validated our long-standing relationship with the Australians and it was a reminder that our two nations have fought together in every major conflict since World War II."

While Talisman Sabre has been a bilateral exercise, members of the New Zealand Defense Forces participated as embedded units within the Australian Defence Force, and members of the Japan Self-Defense Force participated, for the first time, as embedded personnel within U.S. military units.

During TS15, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 F/A-18 Super Hornets executed an in-flight tank refueling from a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) KC-30A.

According to Posey, this symbolizes the ever-growing partnership between the U.S. and Australia. The strategic partnerships and tactical interoperability were two of the important elements incorporated to achieve success in TS15.

"This exercise was planned for almost two years," said Posey. "I really enjoyed working with members from other nations and services. It has been a reminder of why we fight. To realize and see firsthand that U.S. and Australian forces share those same values has been very valuable."

TS15 is a biennial land, sea and air military training exercise between U.S. and Australian forces that features more than 33,000 personnel, 21 ships, 200 aircraft and three submarines, which increases U.S.-Australian interoperability to respond to a wide variety of contingencies and maintain security, peace, and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
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