PACIFIC OCEAN (July 1, 2011) Ship’s Serviceman Seaman Joshua Willard mans the phone distance line during the forward-deployed dock landing ship USS Germantown’s (LSD 42) replenishment at sea (RAS) with USNS John Ericsson (T-AO-194). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Johnie Hickmon)

EAST CHINA SEA (July 6, 2011) - Commander, Task Force 76 (CTF 76) is preparing to participate with the Australian Defence Force (ADF) in exercise Talisman Sabre 2011 (TS11).

The amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42) and CTF 76 are elements of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) that will be participating in the bilateral exercise.

CTF 76 is led by Rear Adm. Scott Jones, who serves as U.S. 7th Fleet's primary Navy advisor on amphibious matters in the 7th Fleet Area of Operations (AOR).

“At the task force level, our overall goal is to improve U.S and Australian combat readiness,” said Operations Specialist 1st Class Noland Canete, the task scheduling supervisor for TS11. “Not only are we continuing to concentrate on our combined war fighting expertise, but just as important, we are reinforcing the U.S.-Australian relationship.”

Talisman Sabre is a joint sponsored exercise by the U.S. Pacific Command and ADF Joint Operations Command. The exercise happens every two years. U.S. and Australian forces will conduct various land, sea and air operations around the Australian coast, while also practicing their ability to conduct joint humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.

“For TS11, CTF 76 will serve as commander of the expeditionary strike group, supporting the exercise,” said Cmdr. Ed Thompson, CTF 76 deputy chief of staff for operations and plans. “We will have amphibious ships under our control as well as aircraft and Marines that will be providing the expeditionary strike power required to support the overall exercise.”

CTF 76 conducts a number of bi-lateral and multi-lateral exercises each year in support of Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet's cooperative engagement strategy.

The Talisman Sabre exercise is designed to train both U.S. forces and the ADF to act as a combined task force with more than 14,000 U.S. and 8,500 Australian personnel participating.

Canete said CTF 76’s goal for TS11 is to promote the U.S. and ADF organizations' ability to work together seamlessly.

TS11 will focus on contingency response drills that will enhance the U.S. and Australian capabilities in dealing with foreign and domestic threats.

“In today’s broad spectrum of warfare, the expeditionary component is key to completing the objectives of our maritime component commander,” said Thompson. “For this exercise in particular, it’s essential that we participate, because it demonstrates the alliance between the U.S. and Australia, and our other coalition partners.”