CORAL SEA - Navy Combat Logistics Force ships USNS Charles Drew (T-AKE 10), USNS Wally Schirra (T-AKE 8) and USNS Yukon (T-AO 202) are steaming off the coast of northeastern Australia this week, providing vital logistics support to U.S. and Australian ships participating in Talisman Saber 2013.
Thousands of U.S. and Australian military forces took to the air, land, and sea in and around northeastern Australia for the two-week exercise. Operating as a Combined Joint Task Force, Talisman Saber 2013 focuses on combined operations, as well as responding to humanitarian emergencies or natural disasters. The exercise includes both live and computer-simulated scenarios.
CLF ships are shadowing vessels from the USS George Washington Carrier Strike Group and USS Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group, which will conduct bilateral training with ships from the Royal Australian Navy.
USNS Charles Drew conducted its first underway replenishment operation with Australian fleet replenishment oiler HMAS Sirius (O-266) July 18. CLF ships are also scheduled to resupply Royal Australian Navy light cruisers HMAS Perth (D-29) and HMAS Sydney (D-48).
CLF ships' role in the exercise will conclude July 29.
Personnel from Singapore based Military Sealift Command Far East's logistics directorate work closely with counterparts from Australia's navy throughout the exercise. MSCFE's Combat Logistics Force officers - who operate a centralized, one-stop shop for Navy combat logistics force ships - manage the delivery of commodities to both U.S. Navy and Australian ships at sea.
Jointly sponsored by the U.S. Pacific Command and ADF headquarters Joint Operational Command, Talisman Saber 20l3 will incorporate U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force, the ADF, as well as other government agencies from each country.
MSC operates approximately 110 noncombatant, U.S. Navy civilian-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, conduct specialized missions, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world, and move military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners.