SAN DIEGO - Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet completed biennial joint-training exercise Talisman Saber 2013 (TS13) July 28.
The two-week exercise is the second largest maritime exercise in the world jointly led by U.S. Pacific Command and the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
Military assets from both nations conducted various types of training at sea, ashore and in the air off the Australian coast and in the United States 7th and 3rd Fleet areas of responsibility based on a simulated mid-intensity war environment.
Third Fleet served as Combined Force Maritime Component Commander (CFMCC) for the exercise. In the joint-task force construct, CFMCC is one of four functional components: Combined Forces Maritime Component Commander, Combined Forces Air Component Commander, Combined Forces Land Component Commander and Combined Forces Special Operations Component Commander.
"Talisman Saber 2013 provided a great training experience for our team here at Third Fleet, which included a contingent of outstanding professionals from the Royal Australian Navy led by Cdre. Greg Sammut," said Vice Adm. Kenneth Floyd, Commander U.S. 3rd Fleet. "We had the chance to exercise command and control with U.S. and Australian ships halfway around the world in realistic and relevant scenarios. Just as importantly, we strengthened key joint and international partnerships that we rely on every day."
All component commanders reported to 7th Fleet, who served as Commander of the Combined Task Force (CCTF). The exercise served as 7th Fleet's Joint Task Force (JTF) certification.
"TS13 is a bilateral exercise between the Australian navy and the U.S. Navy, and this year it's grown to include U.S. Army First Corps and some U.S. Air Force components," said Capt. Jay Mills, deputy director Maritime Operations Center for CFMCC during TS13. "CFMCC is in command of all maritime forces that may be used to respond in the event of a crisis. Practicing our role of CFMCC allows us to utilize the tactics, techniques and procedures we would use as a combined force."
U.S. 3rd Fleet staff managed a combined force of geographically dispersed Australian and U.S. ships that showed the fleet's ability to manage multinational assets from 3rd Fleet headquarters in San Diego, which added to the realistic, relevant training that is necessary for an effective global Navy.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for the staff in terms of operating as a maritime operations center and exercising those cross-functional teams that make it possible," said Mills. "When we go to a contingency operation or major combat operations as we simulate this exercise, we stand up a maritime operations center, which has a different construct, and we have what are called bureaus, boards, cells and working groups."
Joint interagency and international relationships strengthen U.S. 3rd Fleet's ability to respond to crises and protect the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners.