HMAS Sydney Crew Visits USS George Washington

The crew of the Royal Australian guided-missile frigate HMAS Sydney (FFG 03) visited the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) May 9.

Officers, chiefs and able seaman were given a taste of what they will experience when they join the George Washington Strike Group on patrol later this year.

“This ship is nearly three times the size of our ship,” said Marine Technician Able Seaman Luke McKinnon, from Sydney Australia. “Just the general size is baffling when you look at how long your flight deck is as well as the hangers. It’s amazing and completely different.”

HMAS Sydney will be assigned to U.S. 7th Fleet, to provide defense for the George Washington Strike Group. It is armed with standard medium range anti-aircraft missiles, harpoon anti-ship missiles, developed vertical launch Sea Sparrow, 76mm gun to counter both air and surface threats and one 20mm Phalanx close-in-weapon system for anti-missile defense.
For long range anti-submarine tasks, Sydney is equipped with a flight deck and hangers for two S-70B-2 Sea hawk helicopters. For close in anti-submarine defense, the ship is fitted with two Mk32 triple torpedo tubes.

George Washington Sailors were also given the opportunity to meet with their new mates during the tour and learn about each other’s jobs.

“The Aussies were very intrigued about our ship in how big it is and they noticed the hard work our Sailors are putting in to make our ship even better for this next cruise,” said Aerographer’s Mate 3rd Class Takeo Wadriski, from Loxley, Ala. “I think it’s pretty cool that they are coming underway with us to see how we run our Navy and to gain experience in operating in a strike group. I have much respect for Australia.”

George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

Press Release, May 13, 2013