NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer
USS Nitze (DDG 94) departed Naval Base Norfolk Friday, Nov. 2, to
participate in the Navy’s first East Coast Carrier Strike Group (CSG)
cruiser-destroyer (CRUDES) Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training
SWATT is led by Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center
(SMWDC) and is designed to increase warfighting proficiency, lethality,
and interoperability of participating units.
Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Carrier Strike Group 12 (CSG 12)
cruiser-destroyer (CRUDES) units are participating alongside Nitze
during this exercise to include the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile
destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87), Gonzalez (DDG 66), and Bainbridge (DDG
96), and the guided-missile cruiser Leyte Gulf (CG 55).
“SMWDC Warfare Tactics Instructors (WTI’s) improve ships’ proficiency in
carrying out missions in the surface, anti-submarine, integrated air
and missile defense, and information warfare domains,” said Lt. Cmdr.
Nick Van Wagoner, a SMWDC Headquarters assigned WTI and lead planner for
the exercise. “We support ship’s crew through the exercise by helping
establish a culture of (PBED), or planning, briefing, executing, and
debriefing. This model utilizes a crawl-walk-run approach, allowing
teams to build and develop skills as they move from basic to more
“SWATT allows us to exercise our combat muscles and ensure that we have
all of the systems and training in place for operational success,” said
Command Master Chief Sean Bailey, Nitze’s command master chief. “We are
able to advance our skill set through this training by exposing any
areas which may require additional attention. This allows us to
fine-tune our practices and enhance mission readiness.”
“When ships depart for deployment their threat environments may be vast
and dynamic,” said Van Wagoner. “Ships must be prepared to meet any
challenge regardless of their future areas of operation.”
Some events encapsulated within SWATT include pre-checks, evolutions
that summarize preemptive procedures for missile firing. Additionally,
ships participating in SWATT may participate in the Navy’s enhanced
missile exercise program - Live Fire With a Purpose (LFWAP). LFWAP
provides ships a holistic and in depth opportunity to go through weapons
pre-checks through the launch of weaponry.
“Getting our vessel underway affords us the occasion to practice
operations we would not be able to while in port,” said Bailey. “Knowing
that our Sailors have the ability to successfully launch missiles will
validate all of the hard work and training that we have done to prepare
for this exercise.”
Leading up to this exercise, Nitze crew members coordinated with SMWDC
and CSG 12 to gain advice and guidance on the events they will be
participating in during this underway. Data and information will be
collected to measure responsiveness and efficiency in each evolution
executed and will be used to continue efforts to increase Fleet wide
“The crew has been phenomenally receptive, and I look forward to the
opportunity to continue to work alongside them in our effort to make the
surface force better,” said Van Wagoner.
CSG 12’s team-of-teams approach to success is representative of the
continuous efforts of all units involved and will enhance tactical
proficiency and mission-readiness across the Fleet. USS Nitze is
homeported in Norfolk. It is operationally assigned to Destroyer
Squadron (DESRON) 2 which is aligned under the leadership of CSG 12.
SMWDC is a subordinate command of Commander, Naval Surface Forces, and
its mission is to increase the lethality and tactical proficiency of
Surface Force across all domains. In addition to its headquarters
element, it has four divisions focused on Anti-Submarine/Surface Warfare
(ASW/SUW), Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD), Amphibious
Warfare (AMW), and Mine Warfare (MIW).
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