The Ronald Reagan Strike Group, led by the U.S. Nimitz-class supercarrier USS Ronald Reagan, arrived in Brisbane, Australia, for a port call on July 5, the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s Task Force 70 announced in a press release.
Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville arrived with USS Ronald Reagan into Brisbane on July 5. One day earlier, USS McCampbell, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, arrived in Townsville, Australia.
Ronald Reagan is the United States’ sole forward-deployed aircraft carrier, currently homeported in Yokosuka, Japan.
The U.S. vessels arrived in Australia ahead of the start of this year’s Talisman Sabre 2019 exercises.
“USS Ronald Reagan Sailors are excited to engage in Talisman Sabre 2019 with their Australian counterparts,” Capt. Pat Hannifin, Ronald Reagan‘s commanding officer, said in a statement.
“Having served alongside Aussies in every conflict for 100 years, we are truly honored to visit your beautiful country again. We look forward to the sights of Brisbane and the hospitality that Australians are known for,” the statement added.
The bilateral exercise is the largest between the United States and Australia. This year, for the first time, personnel from Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force will be participating.
Japan will be sending multiple vessels to participate in the exercises, including the Hyuga-class helicopter carrier JS Ise and the Osumi-class transport dock ship JS Kunisaki.
Talisman Sabre is taking place this year between July 11 and 24. “TS19 is designed to practice our respective military services and associated agencies in planning and conducting Combined and Joint Task Force operations, and improve the combat readiness and interoperability between Australian and U.S. forces,” an Australian Department of Defense statement noted last month.
Talisman Sabre 2019 will be the eighth iteration of the bilateral U.S.-Australia exercise. According to the Australian Department of Defense, the exercise will consist of a field training exercise component involving force preparation activities, including logistics.
Participating forces are also expected to conduct amphibious landing drills, and enhance interoperability in land force maneuvers, urban operations, air operations, maritime operations, and special forces operations.
Talisman Sabre 2019 will take place in the Australian Defense Force’s Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area, off the coast of Queensland.