Royal Australian Navy, the Japanese Maritime Self Defense force and the Japanese Air Self Defense Force tour USS George Washing  

120613-N-ZT599-060 PACIFIC OCEAN - Members of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), the Japanese Maritime Self Defense force (JMSDF) and the Japanese Air Self Defense Force (JGSDF)  tour spaces of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Brian H. Abel/RELEASED)
Carrier Strike Group 5 conducts Passing Exercise with HMAS Ballarat 
By Task Force 70 Public Affairs 
PHILIPPINE SEA - Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 5 completed a series of training evolutions with HMAS Ballarat (FFH 155) during a passing exercise (PASSEX) in the Philippine Sea.

During the two-day exercise, the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), the Royal Australian Anzac class guided-missile frigate HMAS Ballarat (FFH 155) and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Cowpens (CG 63) participated in communications drills, tactical maneuvering, and leap frog exercises.

The goal of the exercise was for the CSG FIVE to work with their counterparts from the Royal Australian Navy and strengthen the U.S. and Australian relationship.

Crew members from both nations participated in an exchange program between George Washington and Ballarat to get a better understanding of how each Navy operates.

“My visit to HMAS Ballarat was a very enlightening experience,” said Crytologic Technician (Technical) 1st Class Letino Sullivan. “I am glad I had the opportunity to go over to see how my Australian counterparts work.”

During the exchange, Sailors toured spaces and met with their counterparts to get a feel for how Sailors on the other ships live and work.

“We look forward to more engagements with the Royal Australian Navy in the future, as well as other opportunities to foster cooperation and friendship between our two nations,” said Capt. John Schultz, Commodore, Destroyer Squadron 15.

Carrier Strike Group 5 departed Fleet Activities Yokosuka on May 26 to begin its 2012 patrol. The Strike Group for this exercise included George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing 5, Destroyer Squadron 15 and USS Cowpens. CSG 5 is conducting routine operations in the Western Pacific.
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