DARWIN, Australia – The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Preble (DDG 88), USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) arrived in Darwin, Australia for a port visit, July 20 after successfully completing Talisman Sabre 2015 (TS15).
Sailors on both ships stood at parade rest in their dress white uniforms along the edges of the ship as they entered the port, as a gesture symbolizing respect and friendship otherwise known as “manning the rails.”
This port visit follows both ships’ participation in TS15, in which Preble and Fitzgerald were among the 21 ships from the U.S., Australian and New Zealand navies that participated in the exercise that trained more than 30,000 U.S. and Australian Defence Force in planning and conducting combined task force operations.
“Talisman Sabre was a very challenging exercise for us, but we emerged more capable than we were before we went in to it,” said Cmdr. Jeffrey Heames, commanding officer of Preble. “We’ve learned a lot and we’ve reinforced the strong relationship we have with our Australian partners. We’re ready for the next challenge, and the next contribution for us in terms of promoting regional stability in the area.”
Moored alongside Preble, is Fitzgerald. Having also played a large role in the rigorous TS15, they look forward to some time off and exploring Australia.
“Talisman Sabre provided a great opportunity to improve individual ship and strike group readiness in a complex multi-warfare environment with our Australian counterparts and serves to strengthen ties and improve our overall ability to work together,” said Cmdr. Christopher England, Fitzgerald’s commanding officer. Pulling into Darwin after the exercise provides a chance for the crew to unwind and enjoy the local Australian culture.”
Preble and Fitzgerald are currently deployed to the 7th Fleet area of responsibility in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia Pacific region.