Photo caption follows
LTJG Joe Campbell performs a surface scan at the Attack Center One trainer at the Submarine Learning Facility, Norfolk, Va., during Multi-Battle Group Inport Exercise (MBGIE). Campbell is assigned to USS Scranton (SSN-756), the only submarine to participate in the joint exercise.

The fast-attack submarine USS Scranton (SSN-756) demonstrated that submarines are an integral part of the Navy’s strike and battle group framework during its participation in the Multi-Battle Group Inport Exercise (MBGIE), Feb. 7-11.

This was the first time joint (Army and Air Force) and coalition forces used the Navy’s Continuous Training Environment infrastructure and Joint Forces Command’s Joint Training and Experimentation Network for training, and Scranton was a key element of the exercise’s success.

“This exercise was fantastic training for the full crew,” said LCDR John Newton, Scranton’s executive officer.

The MBGIE scenario encompassed 56 hours of continuous wartime planning and execution, and allowed participants the opportunity to train at all levels, promote coordination between warfare commanders, execute joint and combined battle force operations, and familiarize their crews with real-time joint and combined operations in a high tension, combat environment.

“It’s an example of network centric warfare, fighting a simulated regional crisis,” Newton added.

Scranton’s crew utilized the Attack Center One (AC1) trainer at the Submarine Learning Facility (SUBLRNFAC), located a short distance from the pier where they were moored. AC1 is
configured to exercise submarine crews in anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, and all aspects of strike planning and execution, including Engagement Planning, Command and Control, Mission Data Update (MDU) Operations, Strike Execution, and Casualty Response.

SUBLRNFAC is the premier schoolhouse for exercising submarines in Tomahawk strike warfare. The true distinction in SUBLRNFAC’s ability to train the fleet lies in its ability to train submarine teams in warfare command and control.

“This exercise was fantastic training for the full crew“ - LCDR John Newton, Scranton's executive officer
Photo caption follows
British Royal Navy Lt. Cmdr. James Buck, representing the UK battle staff embarked aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD-3), participates in MBGIE.

The “realism” of the trainer made for a more realistic exercise for the Scranton team.

“It’s an ‘around the clock’ exercise, with full watch teams and reliefs,” Newton added. “Though nothing can replace at-sea training, MBGIE provided an excellent opportunity for focused training to meet a specific objective,” as well as demonstrating the interoperability of the submarine force at all levels of strike group work-up and deployment.

A diverse and joint exercise like MBGIE allowed joint U.S. and coalition forces to better integrate themselves into the battlespace, to become a much more effective fighting force. This is especially crucial for the submarine force.

“Exercises like MBGIE highlight the strengths of the submarine, showing the fleet what submarines can bring to the table,” Newton said.


Cover of Undersea Warfare Magazine Winter 2005