Task Group Exercise Comes to a Close, Ends with Success
PACIFIC OCEAN (OCT. 24, 2014) Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Nicholas Kless, assigned to the Black Knights of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 154, from The Woodlands, Texas, installs practice ordnance on a F/A-18F Super Hornet aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). Nimitz, along with Canadian, Japanese and other U.S. ships is underway conducting a task group exercise (TGEX) to train units that will deploy independently. TGEX improves cooperation, readiness and the capability to respond quickly in various situations in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Shauna C. Sowersby/Released)
Task Group Exercise Comes to a Close, Ends with Success
By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Kole E. Carpenter, USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Public Affairs
PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Canadian, Japanese and U.S. ships completed a two-week long Task Group Exercise (TGEX) Oct. 31 off the coast of Southern California.

The exercise, led by U.S. 3rd Fleet gave Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 15 the opportunity to conduct and evaluate training across multiple warfare areas for Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 23, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), guided-missile cruisers USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) and USS Chosin (CG 65), guided-missile destroyers USS Milius (DDG 69), USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60), USS Kidd (DDG 100), USS Pinckney (DDG 91) and USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110), littoral combat ships USS Independence (LCS 2) and USS Fort Worth (LCS 3), Royal Canadian Navy Halifax-class frigates HMCS Calgary (FFH 335) and HMCS Winnipeg (FFH 338), Kingston-class coastal defense vessels HMCS Brandon (MM 710) and HMCS Yellowknife (MM 706), and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JS) Teruzuki (DD 116)

"The U.S. Navy uses exercises like TGEX to strengthen maritime relationships with partner nations," said Capt. Patrick Keyes, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, assistant chief of staff for plans, policy, training and readiness. "Additionally, TGEX gave four independent deployers the opportunity to be assessed across multiple warfare areas and provided an opportunity for ships not getting certified to get valuable training, necessary during their training cycle."

Milius, Paul Hamilton and Fort Worth Crews 103 and 104 used TGEX as their final opportunity to certify prior to deployment.

TGEX was a rare opportunity to cultivate partnerships across Pacific fleets.

"Our goal was to improve tactical skill," Japanese foreign liaison officer Lt. Cmdr. Kohei Sueki said. "We would also like to enhance regional understanding between the Japanese and the U.S. and Canadian Navies."

Sueki added that the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force sought to increase maritime war fighting capability and international relations through their participation in TGEX.

"Japanese, U.S. and Canadian ships coming together is not something that happens often," Lt. Vincent Pellerin, Canadian foreign liaison officer said. "We hoped to foster better international relationships and learn how to work well with other fleets."

Joint, inter agency and international relationships strengthen U.S. 3rd Fleet's ability to respond to crises and protect the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners.
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