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PACIFIC OCEAN — The U.S. Navy and Royal Australian Navy joined forces for a Group Sail exercise in the waters off the coast of Southern California, March 31 and April 1.
Group Sail exercises provide an opportunity for like-minded nations to improve their collaborative partnerships, combined lethality exercises, and interoperability. By conducting operations together, Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John Finn (DDG 113) and Australian Hobart-class air warfare destroyer HMAS Sydney (DDG 42) are enhancing U.S.-Australian planning and communication abilities, and improving complex maritime operations efficiency and effectiveness.
"Operating with our allies and partners is a fantastic opportunity to strengthen our unit-level training, integration, and partnerships," said Cmdr. Bralyn E. Cathey, commanding officer of John Finn. "I could not be more proud of my crew operating with our Australian allies during our maiden deployment."
Australia and the United States have partnered in every significant conflict since World War I, an alliance that continues to present day. Both John Finn and Sydney are currently operating in international waters, furthering the security and stability throughout the free and open Indo-Pacific region. "HMAS Sydney's deployment to the southern Californian range area is the culmination of many years of hard work by everyone involved in the DDG project in Australia and the United States," said Cmdr. Ted Seymour, Sydney's commanding officer. "Separately, for Sydney this is our first deployment, and noting the cooperation between our navies in the Indo-Pacific, it is very fitting that Sydney's first passage exercise is with a U.S. warship."
John Finn was deployed as an integral part of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group before joining Sydney. Commissioned last May and the third in her class, Sydney is currently deployed to the United States for combat systems trials.
U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Indo-Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary to flawlessly execute our Navy's timeless roles of sea control and power projection. U.S. 3rd Fleet works in close coordination with other numbered Fleets to provide commanders with capable, ready assets to deploy forward, deter adversaries in competition and crisis, and defeat adversaries in conflict.