The exercise included the handling of an inert Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) training form to demonstrate enhanced maritime cooperation and increased underwater logistics and sustainment capabilities in Australia.
Mississippi sailors worked alongside RAN Submarine Force personnel to complete the exercise safely and effectively.
“Australia is one of our greatest allies and today was a great opportunity for us to work together and learn from each other,” said Cmdr. Edward Barry, Mississippi Commander. “The successful execution of a complex bilateral exercise such as this demonstrates the level at which HMAS Stirling can support US submarine logistics and enhance our integrated deterrence.”
During the week, the US Navy provided subject matter experts from Naval Munitions Command, East Asia, Guam; Commander, Submarine Forces, US Pacific Fleet; Commander of the 1st submarine squadron; and Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Keyport, to provide guidance and oversight of the complex development.
Before moving the inert form, the shore-based personnel team first craned the loading platform and all associated weapon handling equipment to the Mississippi to prepare the missile tube for unloading. The shore personnel team conducted several training events prior to the exercise to ensure that the execution was safe and accurate.
“Today, members of the RAN Submarine Force had the opportunity to observe US Navy personnel carrying out the loading/unloading of a simulated TLAM on the USS Mississippi, providing an excellent opportunity to learn what is involved in this type of development,” said the Royal Australian Navy submarine, which was the evolutionary an eye witness.
This was the first time a Virginia-class submarine had conducted a weapons handling exercise of this scale, with the RAN taking the lead handover role. In April, the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Springfield (SSN 761) conducted a similar exercise. The Emory S. Land-class submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40) also participated in the development of Springfield and took the lead in transferring the inert training form to TLAM.
Mississippi arrived at HMAS Stirling Naval Base, Australia, on November 28 for a planned port visit to improve interoperability, communication and strengthen relations between like-minded nations.
Mississippi is one of six Virginia-class fast attack submarines based at Pearl Harbor. The submarine is 377 feet long, displaces 7,800 tons, and is equipped to carry torpedoes and Tomahawk missiles. It has the ability to place special operations forces in a wide range of environments and battlefield scenarios.
Mississippi is the fifth Navy ship and the first submarine to be named for a resident of the Magnolia State. The newest USS Mississippi was a nuclear powered guided missile cruiser (CGN 40) that was in service from August 1978 to July 1997.
For more news from USS Mississippi, please visit https://www.csp.navy.mil/mississippi/.