• Short Summary

    The United States Navy's Nuclear task Force, the only completely nuclear powered task force in the world, carried out exercises off the coast of Western Australia today.

  • Description

    The United States Navy's Nuclear task Force, the only completely nuclear powered task force in the world, carried out exercises off the coast of Western Australia today.

    The aircraft carrier "Enterprise" and her escorts, the cruiser "Long Beach" and the frigate Bainbridge will not be entering West Australian ports. However, a party which included the Minister for the Navy, Mr. Chaney, the Premier of Western Australia, Mr. Brand, and several other politicians and local Government dignitaries, were flown out to see today's exercises.

    The party spent four hours aboard the Enterprise, and returned very impressed by the carriers tremendous size and the power and capabilities of the task force. The Enterprise carries Sky Hawk fighters (taking off on the left) and Phantoms (taking off straight ahead) among her one hundred planes. the Phantom has a speed of sixteen hundred miles an hour.

    The warships are now half way through a thirty thousand mile world cruise. As a demonstration of the force's striking range, the two month cruise is being made without any stops for refuelling or replenishing stores.

    A demonstration of a more immediate striking power was provided for today's visitors. They watched jet fighters attack surface targets with rockets and bombs. In cases of emergency, helicopters from the carrier are available for rescue operations.

    The "Long Beach" is the newest cruiser in the world, and the first nuclear powered surface warship. She carries nuclear missiles for use against both aircraft and submarines.

    The flight deck of the Enterprise covers four and a half acres and could carry two liners the size of the Queen Elizabeth. The carrier is a fifth of a mile long, and displaces eighty six thousand tons. She is powered by eight nuclear reactors.

    Rear Admiral Bernard Strean is commander of the Task Force. At the farewell ceremony for the visitors, Mr. Brand said the Task Forces striking power was a tremendous protection for the free world. He said it would boost morale tremendously if all Australians could see the force in action. The Minister for the Navy, Mr. Chaney, said the United States was fortunate in being able to have this type of armament. Australia could not afford a nuclear carrier.

    To give more Australians some idea of the Task Force'w power, fighters from the Enterprise flew in formation over Fremantle and Perth this afternoon. All civil aircraft were grounded while the supersonic jets swept Perth skies.

    Another part of the task force to come within viewing distance from Western Australia, was the frigate Bainbridge which anchored about a mile off Fremantle. The Bainbridge's nuclear reactors provide enough power to keep the frigate moving for several years without refuelling. Like her fellow escort ship, the Long Beach, the Bainbridge carries Terrier Missiles which can be launched in seconds. The frigate also carries rocket launched torpedoes, giving her both anti aircraft and anti submarine attacking power.

    The Bainbridge stayed outside Fremantle harbour for operational reason, but Captain H C Castle, her commander, went ashore to visit Australian Navy officers and other officials. The Bainbridge's stay near Fremantle will also mean shore leave for the five hundred men of her crew, many of whom were lining the rails soon after she anchored, waiting for a launch to take them ashore. The Bainbridge will remain off Fremantle until Wednesday before sailing to rejoin the Enterprise and the Long Beach.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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    Available on request
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