INDIAN OCEAN (NNS) – The guided-missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88) is underway training in Talisman Sabre 2015, a bilateral exercise between Australian and U.S. forces in planning and conducting combined task force operations.
The exercise encompasses many warfare areas with a rigorous training schedule including, air defense exercises, gunnery exercises, and encounter exercises.
Lt. Spike Lamson, combat systems officer and qualified tactical action officer onboard Preble, spoke on the challenges Talisman Sabre has presented him and his watch team.
“The tactical action officer is charged with self-defense of the ship,” said Lamson, “Anytime you’re sitting in that chair, it is your job to execute defense measures if needed. Much of exercise Talisman Sabre is scenarios where it would be necessary to evade, interact, or even engage enemy contacts. This can create a certain level of pressure and tension, but training in this environment is the best way to prepare ourselves, in the event that we are called upon to perform in a wartime setting.”
Strengthening the interoperability of U.S. and Australian forces is Talisman Saber’s main focus. It has required both nations to interact on a level most participants are unaccustomed to.
The goal is to sharpen communications between the two forces so operational decisions can be made and executed seamlessly.
“This exercise is designed to enhance and maintain proficiency between the U.S. and our Australian allies,” said Cmdr. Jeffrey Heames, commanding officer of USS Preble. “You can’t just come together and expect to operate without flaw, you have to dedicate time and effort, and that’s what we’re doing here. Events such as Talisman Sabre provide us the foundation to operate together outside of these exercise timelines, effectively underpinning our future cooperative efforts at sea.”
Preble is under tactical control of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group, comprised USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), USS Green Bay (LPD 20), and USS Ashland (LSD 48) and is on patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.