By Lt. Adagray Willis, Amphibious Squadron Eleven Public Affairs
Legend-class U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Stratton (WMSL 752) and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG 85) joined the Wasp Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) for Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019.
Along with the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1), San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Green Bay (LPD 20), Whidbey Island-class amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48), Stratton and McCampbell will participate as members of the Wasp ESG through the end of July.
“Adding an Arleigh Burke DDG and Legend-class cutter to our strike group improves our lethality and makes us an even more capable fighting team,” said Rear Admiral Fred W. Kacher, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 7. “Talisman Sabre allows us to sharpen our warfighting skills with some of our longest standing allies and great friends in the region. The diversity and versatility of the force we've amassed for this exercise gives us a unique opportunity to broaden our mutual understanding and strengthen our commitment to each other and the Indo-Pacific Region.”
As one of the newest and most capable Legend-class ships, Stratton recently relieved USCGC Bertholf (WMSL 750) in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to continue the U.S. Coast Guard’s presence abroad.
“As one of the five armed forces of the United States, the Coast Guard supports defense operations as part of the National Fleet and Joint Services,” said Capt. Ralph Little, commanding officer of the Bertholf. “Talisman Sabre 19 and the 2019 deployments of Stratton and Bertholf help ensure interoperability and economy of force in worldwide defense missions.”
Talisman Sabre 2019 will be the eighth iteration of the biennial exercise. With over 34,000 U.S. and Australian participants, the exercise will enable the partners to conduct operations in a combined, joint and interagency environment that will increase both countries' ability to plan and execute contingency responses, from combat missions to humanitarian assistance efforts.
Wasp Expeditionary Strike Group, with embarked forces from 3rd Marine Division and 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, is preparing to participate in Talisman Sabre 2019 off the coast of Northern Australia. A bilateral, biennial event, Talisman Sabre is designed to improve U.S. and Australian combat training, readiness and interoperability through realistic, relevant training necessary to maintain regional security, peace and stability.