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September 26, 2013 www.defence.gov.au/news/NAVYNEWS
HMAS Sydney lived up to her
motto of 'thorough and ready'
during her highly successful five-
month embed with the US Navy's
Sydney returned home to Fleet
Base East on September 10 after
more than 90 days at sea with the
USS George Washington carrier
strike group, which included partici-
pating in the joint US and ADF mil-
itary Exercise Talisman Saber 13.
The success of the deploy-
ment was reflected in the smiles
of Sydney's ship's company mem-
bers, who learnt important lessons
about carrier strike group opera-
tions for Navy.
CO Sydney CMDR Karl
Brinckmann said the experience
was extremely important to Navy
in the countdown to the LHDs
and Aegis-equipped Hobart-class
DDGs coming online.
He said Sydney operated as a
unit of the strike group's destroyer
squadron 15. "The embed enabled
Sydney and Navy to increase our
knowledge and skills relating to air
defence procedures, strike group
integration and other high-end
defence capabilities," he said.
"The value of doing an exercise
on operations with the US Navy
cannot be over estimated, because
learning from practical experi-
ence is infinitely superior to theory
learning, even with training simu-
Sydney's embed was also an
opportunity to upskill sailors.
"Sydney's deployment repre-
sented a premium opportunity for
the crew to gain an intimate work-
ing knowledge of how warships
interact in a carrier strike group
to achieve a vast array of differ-
ent missions, including protecting
a high-value asset such as a carrier
or LHD," CMDR Brinckmann said.
CMDR Brinckmann said the
ship's company was able to inte-
grate with its US counterparts
through a personnel exchange pro-
gram that gave sailors access to
George Washington and its escort-
"Conducting operations with
large ships and DDGs was the cor-
nerstone of our aims for the deploy-
ment, and we met those by con-
ducting air-warfare duties and pro-
tecting the carrier," he said.
CMDR Brinckmann said
Sydney's next activity was the
International Fleet Review (IFR)
where she will serve as the flagship
for the Fleet Entry on October 4.
"We are extremely proud of our
role in the IFR," he said.
"The IFR means so much to
us, not just from the perspective
of Sydney's proud history and tra-
ditions, but the opportunity we
have to exercise with many foreign
Sydney has been given the hon-
our of leading the Fleet Entry in
recognition of bearing the name
of one of the original seven war-
ships in the 1913 entry and her suc-
cess 13 months later defeating the
German raider SMS Emden.
CO's challenge kicks butt
HMAS Sydney's embed with the
US Navy's Seventh Fleet proved
to be a challenging time for the
officers and sailors who took up
the captain's challenge to give up
The opportunity to quit smok-
ing during the five-month deploy-
ment helped sailors improve their
health, save money and assist the
ship's fundraising for Ocsober.
Up to 15 of the ship's com-
pany signed up to kick the butt,
but only CO Sydney CMDR Karl
Brinckmann managed to give up
for the duration of the deployment.
"It was my initiative so it
would have been embarrassing
for me to fail, but everybody on
board gave it a great go," he said.
CMDR Brinckmann saved
more than $2760 during the voy-
age, money he otherwise would
have spent on a pack of cigarettes
"I have been a smoker for 25
years but the deployment was
the perfect time to stop because
of the benefits to my health and
wallet," he said.
To help smokers kick the
habit, CMDR Brinckmann
acquired nicotine gum and
patches from the HMAS Kuttabul
pharmacy before the deployment,
but many sailors experienced
CMDR Brinckmann said
in addition to the stop smok-
ing campaign Sydney had so
far raised $1500 for the CN's
"When CN kicked off Ocsober
in Canberra, we simultaneously
were conducting a 24-hour spin-
athon on board during our voy-
age home," he said.
"I can assure you the CN had
smoother waters in the ADFA
pool than we did crossing the
Great Australian Bight in rough
weather, but we finished the
Crew home after
WELCOME HOME: Returning from
a five-month deployment, HMAS
Sydney prepares to berth alongside
Fleet Base East.
Photos: ABIS Richard Cordell
BIG SMILES: ABMT Thomas Bailey is welcomed home by his girlfriend Tiffany,
mother Ursula and stepfather Ian (above). ABET Ryan Wielder is greeted by his
wife Karyn and sons Kaleb and Cooper (inset).
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