ARABIAN GULF – The guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), as part of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 3, joined with maritime forces from France, United Kingdom, and Australia to complete exercise Intrepid Sentinel in the Arabian Gulf, Jan. 17.
Intrepid Sentinel increases interoperability between the U.S. and participating allies in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, which encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water.
Through several integrated events using multiple air and surface platforms, the multinational maritime forces in Intrepid Sentinel became a cohesive combat force.
“Intrepid Sentinel is an exercise where we have gathered naval units from the United States, France, Australia and the United Kingdom to come together as a composite group to exercise war fighting at sea,”
said Lt. Jeffery York, operations officer, Mobile Bay. “Some of the events throughout the exercise included a surface warfare exercise where we tried to locate each other and conduct simulated engagements on different warships.”
The participating ships included France’s Marine Nationale air defense destroyer FS Cassard (D 614), United Kingdom’s Royal Navy air defense destroyer HMS Dragon (D 35), and Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Ballarat (FFH 155). From the United States, the Mobile Bay joined the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and the guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111).
Intrepid Sentinel allowed Sailors to visit other participating countries’ vessels in a cross deck evolution. Sailors from the Mobile Bay were able to visit the Cassard, while the Mobile Bay hosted three French sailors. Two of the sailors were Lt. Roch and Petty Officer 2nd Class Fruan.
York, along with other Sailors from Mobile Bay, showed the French sailors multiple areas of the ship, including a more in-depth experience in the ship’s Combat Information Center (CIC).
“When I arrived this morning, the operations officer welcomed me,” said Roch. “He led me to the CIC and showed how they work there, and how we, as the French, can operate as an air defense command. U.S. Sailors are very welcoming. They shared their experience of the area and gave us many ideas to work with. Together, we are a stronger Navy.”
The John C. Stennis Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points.