USS Green Bay (LPD 20) operates in the Philippine Sea earlier this month. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Sarah Villegas)

CAIRNS, Australia - Sailors and Marines aboard the amphibious transport dock USS Green Bay (LPD 20) arrived in Cairns for a routine port visit, June 28.

The visit to Cairns comes after a month of shipboard joint exercises while operating with Expeditionary Strike Group 7 flagship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), USS Ashland (LSD 48), USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).

The port visit will be a short break from their high-tempo training, and it will be the first time for many of Green Bay’s Sailors and Marines to see the local sights and sounds of Australia.

"This great crew of almost 1,000 Sailors and Marines is incredibly excited to be here," said Capt. Nate Moyer, commanding officer of Green Bay. “Green Bay last visited Australia in 2015 and those crewmembers who are still aboard since then continue to talk about the wonderful and hospitable reception that we always receive in this great country."

Sailors and Marines have been preparing for the upcoming exercises by conducting integrated amphibious training, air operations, replenishments-at-sea, gun qualifications and damage control drills.

"This is my first deployment with a ship,” said Cpl. Brent Eleen, assigned to combat cargo with Green Bay. “It’s been an extraordinary experience working with the US Navy and I’ve always wanted to visit Australia."

Green Bay, part of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Group, will be conducting exercise Talisman Saber 2017 after visiting Cairns.

Talisman Saber is a biennial combined Australian and United States training activity, designed to train Australian and US military forces in planning and conducting operations to improve combat readiness and interoperability.

Green Bay, is operating in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region to enhance partnerships and be a ready-response force for any type of contingency.