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Australian Prime Minister visits USS Ronald Reagan during Talisman Sabre

14 July 2019

From Task Force 70 Public Affairs

Prime Minister Scott Morrison toured the aircraft carrier in the Coral Sea, July 12, witnessing flight operations and speaking with the crew.

CORAL SEA - The Honorable Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia, visited the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) underway in the Coral Sea July 12, during Talisman Sabre 2019.

While aboard Ronald Reagan, the Prime Minister met with several senior ranking U.S. Navy officials during a tour of the ship, observed flight operations and spoke with the Ronald Reagan crew during an all hands call.

“We couldn’t be more pleased that you’re here and we certainly thank you for your participation,” said Morrison. “It’s particularly an honor to be here in the hangar of the USS Ronald Reagan. This is an extraordinary symbol not only of American power, but of the United States commitment to the many nations of this region in which we live and their security.”

Rear Admiral Karl O. Thomas, commander of Task Force 70, and Capt. Patrick Hannifin, commanding officer USS Ronald Reagan, explained the day-to-day operations aboard the aircraft carrier and throughout the strike group during the prime minister’s visit.

“We are privileged today to have the leader of one of our closest allies onboard USS Ronald Reagan,” said Thomas. “We are incredibly fortunate to count Australia as a close ally and friend, and look forward to operating together during exercise Talisman Sabre.”

The purpose of Talisman Sabre is to strengthen and illustrate Australian-U.S. combat readiness and interoperability, maximize combine training opportunities, and conduct maritime prepositioning and logistics operations in maritime and littoral training areas of the Pacific.

“Over the next few weeks, alongside our friends from New Zealand...the United Kingdom...Canada and Japan, 25,000 men and women will participate in this grueling exercise,” said Morrison. “You will put yourself to the test and ensure that ours is a seamless partnership, one that works on the seas, on the ground and in the air. On behalf of the Australian government and Australian people and my colleagues who are here to today I thank you all very much for your service.”

The U.S. and Australia train and work together in a variety of exercises and missions throughout the year, including humanitarian and civic assistance during missions in the Indo-Pacific.

Among the group that toured with Morrison were the Honorable Arthur B. Culvahouse Jr., the U.S. Ambassador to Australia, the Honorable Richard Marles, the shadow minister for defence, the Honorable Frances Adamson, the secretary of the department of foreign affairs and Trade, Greg Moriarty, the secretary of the department of defence, and Gen. Angus Campbell, the chief of defence force.

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.

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