Rear Adm. Patrick Piercey, U.S. Pacific Fleet’s director of maritime operations and Commodore Mark Hammond, Royal Australian Navy director of general maritime operations pose for a picture with participants of the Operations Steering Group. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Brian Wilbur)

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii - U.S. Navy and Royal Australian Navy (RAN) leaders gathered at U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLT) headquarters to conduct an Operations Steering Group (OSG) April 14.

Capt. Brett Fullerton, deputy director of plans and policy at PACFLT, participated in the OSG and explained that it is just one piece of the bigger Strategy Dialogues that guide the relationships between the two navies as well as provides a medium for face-to-face engagements.

"When you can look across a table into your counterpart's eye and see their facial expressions, it allows you to better understand what they are trying to convey," said Fullerton. "It certainly behooves us to have more engagements with personal interactions like this."

The OSG supports the development of key bilateral initiatives including improved maritime domain awareness, amphibious warfare, undersea warfare and surface combatant force capability. It is responsible for increasing the understanding of contemporary maritime operational issues and discussing bilateral exercises, training, deployments and engagement opportunities.

"We have been able to gain a keener understanding of the Aussies' goals and objectives to ensure we are conducting operations at the tactical level that will permit greater awareness and assure maritime security," said William Wesley, director of PACFLT's plans and policy.