CORAL SEA - The Honorable Michael McCormack, Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, visited the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) underway in the Coral Sea July 17, during Talisman Sabre 2019.
While aboard Ronald Reagan, the Deputy Prime Minister and several other members of the Australian government were given a tour of the ship by senior ranking officers of the U.S. Navy. During the tour, the group visited the ship’s navigation bridge, observed flight operations and toured the Reagan museum, home to a number of historical items that encompass the history of previous U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
Rear Adm. Karl O. Thomas, Commander Task Force 70, and Capt. Pat Hannifin, Ronald Reagan’s commanding officer, welcomed the visitors to the ship and discussed current operations working alongside one of the U.S. Navy’s strongest allies; Australia.
"USS Ronald Reagan was honored to host Australian Deputy Prime Minister McCormack, Chief of the Royal Australian Navy Vice Admiral Noonan, and U.S. Consul General Hudson-Dean onboard today," said Hannifin. “We respect our shared values and history, and genuinely enjoy every interaction with Australia and her Defense Forces. Any chance to strengthen our bonds and combined combat effectiveness is time well spent. Australia has no greater friend than the United States, and no greater fan than USS Ronald Reagan.”
The visit to the ship occurred while Ronald Reagan participated in Talisman Sabre 2019, a bilateral exercise designed to strengthen and illustrate Australian-U.S. combat readiness and interoperability, maximize combat training opportunities, and conduct maritime prepositioning and logistics operations in maritime and littoral training areas of the Pacific.
“Talisman Sabre is a great opportunity for the CTF 70 team, both the air wing and the ships, to come down and operate with one of our closest allies,” said Thomas. “Having all of our allies and partners working together sends a strong message about the importance of not only trade but of security.”
Talisman Sabre 2019 illustrates the closeness of the Australian and U.S. alliance and the strength of the military-to-military relationship. This is the eighth iteration of this exercise. Ronald Reagan is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.