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US naval leaders note USS America benefits in ‘Talisman Sabre 21'

Amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) is shining in its first ‘Talisman Sabre' exercise off the Australian coast, according to US naval officials.

The ship “brings a wide variety of additional options, speed, logistics, flight deck space, and capacity,” Rear Admiral Chris Engdahl, commander Expeditionary Strike Group 7, said on 28 July during a media briefing on ‘Talisman Sabre 21' operations.

Unlike previous US Navy (USN) amphibious assault ships, America has no well deck, instead devoting a great deal of its volume to aviation operations. “We can do so much more dynamic lift and movement and envelopment with this platform,” Rear Adm Engdahl said.

The forward-deployed ships of Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 7, along with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, arrived off the coast of Australia in preparation for the biennial exercise in mid-July.

Led by the Australian Defence Force (ADF), ‘Talisman Sabre 21' is a large-scale exercise between Australia and the United States.

The US maritime component of the exercise features the USN's only forward-deployed amphibious ready group (ARG), which includes America, the amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18), and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42), along with embarked elements of the Okinawa-based 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).

During ‘Talisman Sabre 21', the America ARG-MEU team is integrating with the Royal Australian Navy, Royal Canadian Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, and Republic of Korea Navy for maritime operations.

Noting the difference between America

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