NEW YORK: USS Mahan (DDG 72) escorted two Royal Australian frigates, HMAS Sydney (FFG 03) and HMAS Ballarat (FFG 155), to New York City’s harbor July 19 as part of operation Northern Trident (NT09).

More than 400 Australian and nearly 300 American Sailors will be in the city for a four-day visit.

NT09 is a six-month international deployment of the two Australian ships visiting ports in selected North American, Western European and West and North Asian countries.

The Australian ships are scheduled to visit the U.S. ports of New York, Baltimore and Norfolk in reciprocation for the U.S. Navy’s “Great White Fleet” celebrations in Australia in 2008. In fact, former President Theodore Roosevelt’s “Great White Fleet” around-the-world tour was the inspiration for Operation Northern Trident.

The guided-missile destroyer Mahan met the Australian ships in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and the two navies conducted combined operations during the transit to New York, showcasing interoperability and both countries’ commitment to the global maritime strategy of cooperation.

“Whenever we conduct exercises with one of our allies, we both learn from each other, and it makes the alliance that much stronger,” said Steve Murphy, Mahan’s commanding officer.

The three ships will open for public tours July 21. Sydney and Ballarat will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Mahan will be open from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.