USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors aboard USS Harry S. Truman (HST) (CVN 75) and the Australian guided-missile frigate HMAS Adelaide (FFG 01) got a chance to tour each other's ship when the two vessels conducted a cross-decking excursion Dec. 24-28 in the Persian Gulf.
While conducting helo operations, HST and Adelaide transferred personnel to and from the two vessels, allowing the Sailors to see how the other ship operates under way and meet their coalition allies in the global war on terrorism.
"This gives us an opportunity to reward good Sailors. It gives them a great opportunity to see how [the Australians] do business," said Lt. Cmdr. Jeff O'Donnell, main propulsion assistant and coordinator for this cross-decking evolution. "For the Australians, it gives them a chance to see things they may never have a chance to see. They don't have anything of this capability in their navy."
The Australians toured all over Truman, including places such as the bridge, the Carrier Air Traffic Control Center, foc'sle and of course the flight deck. They visited medical and the mess decks and were impressed by the way Truman Sailors can be completely sustained under way for such a long period of time.
"I enjoyed the flight deck and was impressed by the amount of space you [HST Sailors] have," said Leading Seaman Mark Cox, Australian navy. "Just seeing passageways that go on forever and being able to fit two people in them [at the same time] is great."
The Australian sailors also saw how things were similar between the ships. Much of HST's logistics and replenishments at sea are very much like theirs, just on a much larger scale.
"It's been interesting to compare the logistics," said Lt. Amanda Wearmouth, Australian navy. "You [HST Sailors] do a lot of the same things we do - you just get them in a lot higher multiples. I think the largest replenishment we've had is 27 pallets. And in our store, where you reach $1 million, we're lucky to reach $5,000,"
HST Sailors were just as impressed when they toured Adelaide. Much of it seemed the same as being aboard Truman, but the camaraderie stuck out as an extreme asset.
"I wanted to go to see what it was like on a different ship and particularly what it's like for a different country," said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (SW/AW) William Monroe, advanced laboratory technician. "What really stuck out to me was how much of a close knit community they were. They were people who helped each other out, not because they had to but because they wanted to."
Whether being awed by the size of the flight deck on an aircraft carrier or floored by seeing the strength of morale, the cross-deck was a good experience for everyone.
For related news, visit the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn75.