PHILIPPINE SEA (NNS) – Units from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Air Force completed the biennial exercise Valiant Shield 2016 (VS16), Sept. 23.
The twelve-day exercise 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.
The VS16 participants included Commander, Task Force 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), USS Momsen, (DDG 92) and other associated units; Commander, Task Force 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.
“Valiant Shield is a vital part of our ability to train in a joint warfighting environment,” said Rear Admiral Charles Williams, commander, Task Force 70 and Carrier Strike Group Five. “During this year’s exercise, we tried a variety of different tactics in the air, at sea and on the ground. We used new technologies to our advantage and were able to test our interoperability in difficult situations within all of our platforms.”
During the twelve-day exercise, the joint forces worked together on different platforms in order to further the ability to communicate and operate together. All assets were tested with range-of-mission areas and successfully exercised finding, fixing, tracking, targeting and engaging units at sea, in the air, on land and underwater.
“Valiant Shield 2016 honed our warfighting capabilities as a joint force, but most importantly, the exercise demonstrated our ability to work within complex warfighting situations,” said Cmdr. Michael Posey, team lead for the exercise. “Each branch contributed to the effort of a functional joint environment.”
This is the sixth exercise in the Valiant Shield series that began in 2006.
The lessons learned from exercises like VS16 will assist U.S. forces in continuing to develop
regional and global power projection capabilities that provide a full range of options to succeed
in defense of its interests and those of its allies and partners around the world.
The VS series is aimed at developing a “pre-integrated” joint force built from habitual
relationships. This force builds interoperable and complementary cross-domain capabilities and
benefits from realistic, shared training enhancing the flexibility to develop new tactics,
techniques, and procedures as operational conditions dictate. Such forces will provide the
deterrence and stabilizing effects of a force-in-being, ready at the outset of a contingency without
delays for buildups or extensive mission rehearsal.