By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jared Harral, U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs
BRISBANE, Australia (NNS) -- The biennial joint U.S.-Australian exercise Talisman Sabre 2015 concluded with a ceremony aboard the U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), in Brisbane, Australia, July 20.
This was the sixth iteration of the exercise, which focused on joint training of a combined task force of Australian and U.S. forces in a mid-intensity, high-end operation, incorporating interagency cooperation. The exercise provided effective and intense training to ensure Australian and U.S. forces are capable, interoperable and deployable on short notice.
"Our relationship is in full throttle on all levels," said United States Consulate General Hugo Llorens. "Together we're working to secure a peaceful and prosperous Asia-Pacific, which in the end, benefits anyone, and Talisman Sabre 2015 is one clear way that we are helping to ensure peace and prosperity of the region."
"We have partnered many times with the United States military and I am really pleased to see Talisman Sabre 2015 continue to build on the partnership, to ensure that both of us are ready to go where we may need to when required," said Vice Adm. David Johnston, chief of joint operations for the Royal Australian navy.
The exercise featured 21 ships, including the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), more than 200 aircraft, and three submarines. In all, more than 33,000 U.S. and Australian personnel participated in the exercise.
"It's been an extraordinary exercise, and I congratulate all of those who have been involved both in planning it and participating in it," said Johnston. "It's been one of the safest that we have performed and one of the most complex we have done."
Talisman Sabre is designed to be a realistic and challenging exercise aimed at improving both nations' ability to work together, preparing Australian and U.S. service members to plan and execute contingency responses, from combat missions to humanitarian assistance efforts.