WATERS NEAR GUAM – Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group conducted an air defense exercise (ADEX), Sept. 23 - 24, in the training ranges in the Guam operating area.
The objective of ADEX was to protect the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) from any simulated airborne threats that the ship may encounter out at sea. This evolution is the first time that the strike group has gotten to work together in this type of environment.
Participants of the two-day ADEX comprised of the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62), the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88), Ronald Reagan along with their embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 and other squadron entities.
“There was a lot of integration between everybody,” said Lt. j.g. Kevin Jacobi, Chancellorsville’s air defense officer. “Aside from the ships and air wing, we had Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 132, Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron VMFA(AW) 224, and an Air Force B-52 squadron all participating in the exercise.
During the exercise, more than 30 aircraft, ranging from F/A-18 Super Hornets, E2-C Hawkeyes, E/A-18G Growlers, and B-52 Stratofortresses, were utilized by dividing them into red air, hostile threats, and blue air, the strike group’s air defense force.
“The air support provided by the red and blue air allowed us to successfully simulate the actual engagements and to play out the type of presentation we were looking for to make it a challenging environment,” said Jacobi. “The aircrews were able to work on their proficiency and meet different mission objectives.”
Chancellorsville also received assistance from the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54) during the exercise.
“Antietam has done a number of these in the past and with Chancellorsville being new to 7th fleet, I was able to bring a little bit of experience and kind of combine it with their new perspective coming from San Diego to try and create a cohesive and successful training exercise,” said Lt. Nick Moskevich, the fire control officer aboard USS Antietam (CG 54), embarked on Chancellorsville.
The exercise played out in Chancellorsville's combat information center (CIC) where Sailors experienced and worked through each scenario fulfilling their objective, to protect Ronald Reagan.
“We are all kind of masters of our domain, so the surface ships are really good at surface warfare tactics and surface warfare air defense, and the air wing is really good at fighter tactics and air defense from an air perspective,” said Moskevich. “But when we all come together, like in this exercise, that’s where you learn the most.”
Chancellorsville is on patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.