Michael Fabey, Aerospace Daily & Defense Report, Mar 18
The U.S. Navy’s Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine SSN 706 USS Albuquerque partnered with the Australian navy earlier this month to strengthen its warfare capabilities through the annual joint exercise Lungfish 2015, U.S. Navy officials say.
Lungfish 2015 is a tactical development exercise between the two navies that trains and teaches tracking methods of both nuclear and diesel submarines, U.S. Navy officials say.
In a direct response to the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s priority to enhance antisubmarine warfare (ASW) abilities, the crew of the Albuquerque participated in ASW missions and joint submarine command courses while deployed to Perth, Australia. The joint exercises allowed for the U.S. Navy to learn and gain knowledge from the Australian diesel submarine HMAS Rankin.
ASW is becoming increasingly important, especially in the Asia-Pacific, where many nations are procuring and operating increasing numbers of submarines. Adm. Jonathan Greenert, the chief of naval operations, says the U.S. owns the “undersea domain” and intends to continue doing so.
“This provides a unique experience for the submarine crew to employ and experiment with many different real-world tactics,” says Lt. Patric Trabert, Albuquerque’s damage control assistant. In addition to the skills developed, the weeklong exercise strengthened the ties between the U.S. and Royal Australian navies, U.S. Navy officials say.
“There is no substitute for this experience,” says Lt. Cmdr. Chris Brown, Albuquerque’s executive officer. “You can simulate this in a trainer, but it is quite different when you have a top-of-the-line diesel submarine being expertly operated by its crew. You really get a chance to see how you perform under pressure.”