SAN DIEGO – The first multi-unit anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercise, outside of the normal fleet training and readiness program, was executed by Destroyer Squadron 21 May 8 and 9, after a symposium was held earlier this year to discuss ways to improve ASW training.
Participants in the two-day exercise included USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), USS Kidd (DDG 100), USS Jefferson City (SSN 759), Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 71, and Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light 43.
Training provided was submarine familiarity for the surface ships, acoustic and non-acoustic tracking, exercising command and control of air and surface assets, and practicing critical anti-submarine warfare skills.
“This exercise afforded us the opportunity to rehearse those fundamental ‘blocking and tackling’ skills essential to successful execution in the game,” stated Capt. Mike Salvato, Commander, Destroyer Squadron 21.
ASW training has become increasingly important with the world-wide increase in submarines and with rare opportunities to practice tactical level ASW skills. Therefore, symposiums will continue to provide a venue for waterfront commands to improve processes, incorporate new capabilities and implement lessons learned, ensuring future ASW training flourishes.
This local initiative offers opportunities for surface, aviation and submarine assets to come together to focus on perishable skill sets. It also improves training and readiness by allowing units to perfect skills in a live, multi-unit scenario and requiring them to address real world complications such as communications, environmental conditions, or gear that may have maintenance issues.