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130815-N-UE577-176 CAIRNS, Australia (Aug. 15, 2013) - A Sailor assigned to dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42) mans the rails while entering port at Cairns, Australia.  Germantown is part of the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, is currently conducting routine joint-force operations in the U.S. 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility.  (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Andrew B. Church/RELEASED)
USS Germantown Visits Cairns
CAIRNS, Australia - Sailors and Marines assigned to dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42) pulled into Cairns, Australia for a routine port visit, Aug. 15.

"I'm very excited to be in Cairns," said Fireman Recruit Daniel W. Sistare. "The people [in Australia] are very welcoming."

The visit followed Germantown's completion of a two week certification exercise (CERTEX) with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) in the Coral Sea.

CERTEX is a comprehensive, complex training evolution that combines the Navy and Marine Corps maritime and sea-to-shore capabilities, and is routinely conducted to maintain fleet readiness.

"Everyone involved in CERTEX did an exceptional job integrating forces, carrying out their duties with professionalism, and working together to accomplish the mission," said Cmdr. Jason R. Leach, commanding officer of Germantown. "Our visit to Cairns represents an opportunity for our crew to enjoy a well earned break."

Germantown is currently on patrol with the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group, commanded by Capt. Cathal O'Connor, commodore, Amphibious Squadron 11 and reports to the Commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet, Rear Adm. Jeffrey A. Harley, headquartered in White Beach, Okinawa, Japan.
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