USS Fitzgerald Completes Successful Firing Exercise During Talisman Sabre 2011
PACIFIC OCEAN - The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) demonstrated its naval surface fire support (NSFS) capabilities during a firing exercise off the coast of Australia July 12-13, in support of exercise Talisman Sabre 2011.
Fitzgerald released more than 150 rounds from the 5-inch/54 caliber main battery at an uninhabited island off Australia’s northeastern coast. With U.S. Marines and their Australian counterparts ashore acting as spotters, the ship fired at ranges from six-to-seven nautical miles.
The NSFS live fire was a bilateral exercise with HMAS Balarat also firing their main battery from 1,000 yards astern of Fitzgerald.
“We had an extremely successful live firing exercise with our Australian partners, reemphasizing the high level of interoperability between the United States and Australian naval forces,” said Lt. Matthew Hays, Fitzgerald’s weapons officer. “Both ships did an excellent job and executed all call for fires.”
NSFS evolutions are essential to the Navy’s combat mission where naval vessels provide fire support to Marines and Soldiers on the ground in combat situations.
“I am extremely proud of how my crew performed during the firing evolution, as well as their continued hard work during Talisman Sabre,” said Cmdr. Dennis Velez, commanding officer, USS Fitzgerald. “It’s always a great opportunity to work alongside our Australian allies. The U.S. and Australian defense relationship is a central pillar of our national security strategy, based on shared value and a common commitment to peace and security throughout the Asia-Pacific.”
Talisman Sabre 2011 is a biennial exercise which combines U.S. and Australian air, land and maritime forces. The exercise provides an opportunity to conduct operations in a combined and joint environment that will increase both countries’ bilateral war-fighting capabilities to respond to crises and provide humanitarian assistance.
Following the firing exercise, Fitzgerald rejoined additional Australian and United States ships for continued combined task force operations off the coast of Australia.