USS Antietam visits Australia with George Washington Strike Group
Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Declan Barnes USS Antietam Public Affairs
BRISBANE, Australia - The guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54), along with the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) and amphibious transport dock USS Denver (LPD-9), visited Brisbane, Australia, for a scheduled port visit July 29-Aug. 3.
The visit marked the ending of the ship’s role in exercise Talisman Saber 2013, a bilateral exercise designed to train Australian and U.S. forces in conducting combined task force operations in order to improve combat readiness and interoperability.
While in port, Antietam Sailors played a friendly soccer match against the local Olympic Football Club, and took time to share about life in the service with military cadets during a visit to Brisbane’s Churchie Middle School.
There was a large crowd at the local Goodwin Park to watch the Antietam soccer team compete against Olympic F.C. in a friendly soccer match. Both teams where escorted onto the field by Brisbane youth, and after the playing of both national anthems, the match kicked off. Even though Olympic secured a victory on the pitch, the match was still a very valuable chance to blow off some steam and interact with the locals in a positive way, said one Antietam Sailor.
“I had an absolute blast competing with Olympic F.C. on the field tonight,” said Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Craig Keup. “They are really great athletes and I wanted to thank them for allowing us to come out and kick the ball around with them on their turf.”
Other members of the crew took time to visit military cadets at Churchie Middle School, and share with them about ship life and what to expect in the service. The Sailors introduced themselves and explained their different ratings; answering student’s questions about everything from fire-fighting onboard to the unique living accommodations of being on a naval warship.
“It was a fantastic experience to meet the Sailors and learn from them,” said John Tasaner, cadet Air Force warrant officer and high school senior. “It was extremely captivating listening to them talk about their experiences about being on the ship. I also learned about how the co-operation between both our forces is really important.”
After a successful port visit, Antietam left Brisbane Aug. 3 to continue her mission as part of the George Washington Carrier Strike Group. Antietam is forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, and is on patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
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