PHILIPPINE SEA (NNS) – Air and surface units from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Air Force conducted a concept of operations simulated exercise during Valiant Shield 2016, Sept. 17.
The concept of operations simulation is designed to improve the interoperability and tactics between multiple U.S. military branches.
Units participating in the exercise included, Carrier Strike Group 5 including USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), Carrier Air Wing 5, USS Chancellorsville (CG 62), USS Barry (DDG 52), USS John S. McCain (DDG 56), USS Stethem (DDG 63), USS Benfold (DDG 65), USS McCampbell (DDG 85), USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54), the Wasp-class USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), the San Antonio-class USS Green Bay (LPD 20), and the Whidbey Island-class USS Germantown (LSD 42), aircraft from the 199th Fighter Squadrons (FS), 18th Fighter Squadron (FS), 44th Fighter Squadron (FS) and the 67th Fighter Squadron (FS).
“The goal of this exercise was to test and stress the joint and integrated air and missile defense of a Carrier Strike Group and Expeditionary Strike Group,” said Capt. Wilson Marks, commanding officer of Chancellorsville.
The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62), Commander, Task Force 70’s Air Defense Commander, led the exercise. The ship gave guidance and direction to the units and coordinated between surface and air units.
“Valiant Shield furthered joint interoperability concepts among the branches by planning and executing in several mission areas with emerging and existing tactical systems from the Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps,” said Cmdr. Michael Posey, one of Valiant Shield’s main planners. “This exercise set the conditions to further refine tactical integration of new weapons systems, deconfliction measures, and procedures. Additionally, the exercise fostered the warrior ethos of the Joint Force, by integrating liaison officers across services.”
Throughout the exercise the units were required to work together to protect the targeted unit. Protecting the unit was completed through using a number of ballistic missile defense tactics and air defense tactics.
Simulated exercises, like the one conducted during Valiant Shield, help create situations that cannot be replicated in the physical world. The simulation uses a number of factors and places them into a sequence of events to test all capabilities of each unit within the exercise.
VS16 is a biennial, U.S.-only, field training exercise (FTX) with a focus on joint training among U.S. forces to conduct a range of missions in the air, sea, land, and cyberspace. Units participating include: CTF 76/Expeditionary Strike Group 7 including USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), USS Green Bay
(LPD 20), USS Germantown (LSD 42), Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25, and 31st Marine
Expeditionary Unit and associated Marine-Air-Ground Task Force units; CTF 70/Carrier Strike Group 5
including USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), Carrier Air Wing 5, USS Chancellorsville (CG 62), USS Barry
(DDG 52), USS John S. McCain (DDG 56), USS Stethem (DDG 63), USS Benfold (DDG 65), USS
McCampbell (DDG 85), USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54), and other associated units.