Skip to comments.(Australian) Warship to join US fleet in hot zone
Posted on 04/25/2013 5:50:23 PM PDT by naturalman1975
THE guided-missile frigate HMAS Sydney is about to join the US Seventh Fleet in Japan at a time of heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula and in the South China Sea.
The warship will be "embedded" with a US aircraft carrier strike group operating out of Yokosuka.
The deployment comes as the Gillard government is working to manage Australia's relationships with China and the US after the Prime Minister sealed a "strategic relationship" with Beijing during her recent visit, and with the new defence white paper due out in June.
Analysts say it is significant that the frigate will operate from Japan.
The mission has been long-planned to increase the navy's experience at providing air defence for a fleet, in preparation for the arrival of the navy's two massive landing ships and three air warfare destroyers.
But it comes at a tense time, with North Korea's bellicose posturing and the possibility of clashes between warships from China and Japan.
There are several potential flashpoints in the region and as North Korean rhetoric escalated this month, Defence Minister Stephen Smith said Australia strongly supported the US in its commitment to protect South Korea.
"Australia has made it clear we stand shoulder to shoulder with the Republic of Korea, also with Japan," Mr Smith said.
The minister noted that South Korea had endured enormous provocation, including the sinking of its navy corvette, the Cheonan, with the loss of many lives.
Peter Jennings, a former senior Defence official who now heads the Australian Strategic Policy Institute think tank, said the deployment was significant. "It does reflect a return to the type of co-operation that used to happen in the 1980s and 90s when we exercised more frequently with the Americans," Mr Jennings said.
(Excerpt) Read more at theaustralian.com.au ...
Ahhhh, an old FFG (Perry class) with a few mods...Looks like they have a VLS system now...Nice...
I remember a few folks I served with who rode those back in the day...Those things could turn on a dime...
Good that the Aussies are still getting some use out of them...
God bless our Aussie friends.
President Zero will be sure to see that some troops are deployed who can speak Australian.
When I was in the JFK back in the seventies, I remember seeing one of those Knox class frigates off the starboard beam about 100 yards away while we were up in the North Atlantic in November 1976.
The vessel was pitching like mad, the single screw was coming out of the water, the bow was burying itself and had tons of green water washing down the length of the ship, as it rolled and yawed wildly at the same time.
It was remarkable. I watched, and thought to myself “How on earth do those guys live on that ship?”
Those tin can guys are honest to goodness sailors.
Yep, I second that.
God Bless Australia.
When I was in the fleet back in the 80’s, I was on DDG-994...West coast destroyerman...
I also did a little reserve time onboard the McCandless, one of those Knox Class corks...
They still had decent sea-keeping, but yeah, you had to get used to it...
Ohhhhh, BTW, did a round the world tour with JFK escorting it on that wirlwing tour...Felt like a rockstar!!! that was a Liberty Port cruise like no other!!! Lots of Med stops...
I thought the West coast guys had all the great liberty ports...You guys on the East Coast had some great one’s too!!! My favorite was Palma, Spain...The Dakari Place, right on the beach was sweet...Got some pics I can’t show even my wife!!! snicker...
One that carries a proud name, too, and something of a tragic one.
Ahh. Palma De Mallorca.
I went there once when I was in, and it was epic. To be honest I am not completely proud of myself, but the story sounds funny to me in the telling, though I can see it the other way.
Went ashore one night with a friend, walked around near the waterfront, had Paella, went to Texas Jacks (we did the thing where you stand on the other guy’s shoulders so you can get high enough to sign your name on the wall...:) I still have a business card that I got from there.
The next night was something altogether different.
I think there was about eight of us, and we spent the earlier part of the day walking around near the beaches and so on. One of the most vivid memories I have of that day, was walking down the beach and coming across an unconscious sailor lying face down in the sand. I know there are people who would hear me say that and ask “how on earth would you know it was a sailor?” The answer I would give them is that you could just tell. (You probably know exactly what I mean)
Anyway, there he was, just wearing a pair of shorts or a bathing suit, motionless in the sand. We all stood there and looked at the guy, and I knew that everybody was thinking the same thing: nobody wanted to interrupt their liberty to babysit this passed out American sailor. So we all kind of looked at each other and mumbled, basically wondering what we should do. Somebody said “Well, we can’t just leave them here like this, can we?” He was pretty sunburned at that point, and we did what was probably a logical thing to our semi-intoxicated brains We turned him over onto his back, with the unspoken hope that the Shore Patrol would come by and pick the guy up before the other half of his body broiled.
That is just one of the things on that particular day I was not wholly proud of, but it still seems kind of humorous in an odd way looking back at it.
The next thing I remember, all eight of us were at some fancy restaurant that was on top of some mountain somewhere. It was a circular restaurant, windows all around, with panoramic views of the surrounding rugged terrain. It was a great place, because they had these big horseshoe shaped booths where we could all fit into around the table. We were drinking pretty heavily at that point, and generally enjoying ourselves.
This is one of those places that you don’t see anymore. There was a guy with an expensive camera went around to tables and took pictures of the people at the tables. Later on, he would come around with the developed pictures and attempt to sell them to you. This was actually a pretty good thing in those days, because nobody had digital cameras or cell phones, so there was a market for it. Unfortunately for this guy, It was too pricey for a bunch of sailors on liberty.
One of the guys at our table was really into photography, so he and the guy started talking cameras and things like that. It’s funny, I can’t remember what the guys last name was, but I remember his first name was Barney, and he actually looked a little bit like the guy who plays James Bond now, except he was only about 5’5” and not nearly as rugged looking. But you get the idea
So, the two of them are talking cameras, and the photographer invited him to go see his set up in his darkroom on the premises. Barney jumped up, and the two of them disappeared. A few minutes later, Barney came rushing breathlessly back to the table, his blue eyes the size of dinner plates! He says to us in this panicked voice “Jesus! As soon as I walked into his darkroom, the guy dropped down on his knees and began ripping at my belt buckle trying to pull my pants down!”
I swear, we all laughed so hard, we had tears running down our faces! He got so much ribbing for that, he never lived it down. He was a really good guy, but as he showed, he had little too much of the country boy in him.
Things got pretty hazy for me at that point, and the next thing I remember is sitting at one of those for shoe shaped booths with what now appears in retrospect to have been an attractive Scandinavian mother out on the town with her equally attractive Scandinavian daughters. We were conversing, though I have absolutely no idea what was being said, and even in my compromised state, I could see how ridiculous this scene was. (I have no idea how I got there, and I’d like to hope I didn’t just walk over and plop myself down, but I think that would be too much to hope )
As I got up, I suddenly realized how intoxicated I was, and that realization brought on the quickly dawning conviction that the contents of my stomach were soon not going to fit the classic definition of “contents of a stomach”. I quickened my pace into the lobby, and the lobby was a large circular room with charcoal gray curtains running all the way around. If you stood in the center, it looked at a quick glance as if you were standing inside a solid cylinder of gray curtains. The entrances and exits were through offset sections of the curtain, so you couldn’t see them unless you knew where they were.
I began walking the circumference, looking for the exit with a growing sense of urgency. Soon (very soon) I gave it up and began grabbing the curtain and rapidly pulling it aside looking for the exit. I saw a door and opened it, but it was a mop closet. At the last second, I saw the exit and ran out on the landing clamping my hand to my mouth. I don’t need to describe much more there, but this scenario is another example of something that I wished I had not done, but seems to have an aspect of humor when one can look back at it.
I have often wondered what people thought who were walking up the steps to go in and have a meal, only to be passed by a man rushing the other way with his hand firmly clamped over his mouth. I can easily imagine a couple looking at each other and saying “Hey Let’s go find somewhere else to eat.”
So here I am, in a foreign country, separated from my friends, intoxicated to the point of near insensibility, and I have no idea where I am. I was on my hands and knees in some bushes behind the building and I hear somebody ask “Hey! What the heck are you doing here?” I looked up, and it was one of my squadron mates who I was very good friends with, but he had not been with us that evening.
I don’t think I have ever been more relieved to see a fellow sailor than I was at that point. He got us in a cab, and I do recall quite vividly an angry Spanish cabdriver yelling at me as I had the door wide open and was hanging halfway out the door getting sick as we drove back at highway speeds.
The next day, we weighed anchor and went back out to sea, and I began what was one of the most physically uncomfortable months of my life. While I had been ashore, my liver was not the only thing that sustained damage. While we had been walking around on the beach, I had burned the insteps of both of my feet quite badly. They blistered and turned a nasty shade of dark purple. It was excruciating.
The problem was, I was young and stupid, and the only word of advice I remembered before I went ashore on liberty in that most amazing of liberty ports, was an admonition by the authorities on the ship to not get sunburned. The word was, that if you got sunburned badly enough where you had to miss work, you would be at Captains mast, and they might even throw you in the brig. Now, I don’t know if that was true. But I thought it was true at the time, and I took that pretty seriously.
Looking back on it, it had never occurred to me why the ship store had so much Noxema cold cream, but I found out why. That was only thing that even helped at all, and I’m not even sure that it was worth it. I slathered my feet with that stuff and put socks on when I went to bed, but it didn’t really help. Nothing did. I’d been burned before, so I was well aware that burn injuries are things you don’t want. But I’d never been that badly burned, and I don’t recall an interval of time in my life where it passed so slowly. I swear, I thought my feet would never heal, and that I would never walk without pain.
To make it even worse, this was in the summer, and my job was up on the flight deck. Wearing those black boondocks in that hot sun, walking around on that black nonskid flightdeck that reflected the heat upwards into the soles of your shoes as the hot jet exhaust washed across the top of your feet It was just the worst.
To this day, I cannot even get a whiff of cold cream without getting a twinge of nausea as I am swept back in time 35 years to that month in my life.
However, even with all that That was probably one of the best liberty ports ever. When I got married, my wife and I went there on our honeymoon and stayed in the Scandinavian section of the island. We had a great time, and ended up going back again on our 10th wedding anniversary.
Ahhh .Palma De Mallorca.
Yep, we have our fair share of Sea-Stories...Seabags full of them...
Most are not for the faint of heart, nor from, or of, the Bible Belt...
Bubbleheads, and the Airdales are probably shaking their heads at us “skimmers”, thinking what a bunch of pervs...
I know of the “mountain” you are talking about...We took a short ride up that hill one day and found it to be a little different speed of life than down on the beach...
We actually had it pretty good, we had pulled into Palma two days before Building CV-67 came over the horizon and dumped all 5000 of their pimply faces goobers onto our digs we had been cultivating for the last 48 hours...But it was a good 48 hours...
It was still a great Liberty port for us...One other was Dubrovnik where some of us took a risde up to Sarayevo to see the digs up there...This was after the Olympics and before the unrest that followed...
If we ever figure out what caused that place to “really” get out of control...We’d be elder statesmen by now...
That was really some nice country...
Other than Foster’s beer, which is available around our parts...The other beer I really enjoyed was Swan...That was some stout brew there!!!
Can’t find that stuff distributed very much outside their country...
I also had a fancy for Bundeburg rum...That was some smooooooottthhhhh stuff right there!!!
Damn, now I’m getting those cravings again...Making port of calls in Australia back in the day was really some of the best for us West Coast guys...Made port in Fremantle (Perth)...Bunbury...
Met some great people over there...