By Mass Communication Specialist Mel Orr, USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) Public Affairs
BRISBANE, Australia (NNS) -- The U.S. 7th Fleet command ship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) arrived in Brisbane, Australia, July 8 in support of exercise Talisman Sabre 2011 (TS11).
The exercise enhances joint combat readiness and interoperability between U.S. and Australian air, land and maritime forces and will focus on crisis action planning and execution of emergency response operations.
TS11 is jointly sponsored by U.S. Pacific Command and Australian Defense Force (ADF) Joint Operations Command and is designed to support and strengthen ADF's capability to defend Australia and its national interests.
"The U.S. and Australia have a proud, longstanding history of working together," said Blue Ridge Commanding Officer Capt. Daniel Grieco. "This exercise will further strengthen ties between our two nations and enhance our ability to cooperatively operate our military force to further peace and stability in the region."
While in Brisbane, some Blue Ridge and embarked U.S. 7th Fleet staff Sailors will visit Putrell Park and Karingal Campsite to help with cleaning, painting and planting, while other Sailors will visit children at Mater Children's Hospital as part of community service projects.
Sailors will take in the sights during the numerous scheduled tours and meet local Brisbane residents, all in the spirit of friendship and camaraderie.
Blue Ridge serves under Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 7/Commander, Task Force (CTF) 76, the Navy's only forward-deployed amphibious force. Blue Ridge is the command ship for Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. CTF 76 is headquartered aboard White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, Japan, with an operating detachment in Sasebo, Japan.