​USS Princeton (CG 59) launches an SM-2 missile during a live missile fire event as part of an exercise in the Southern California operating area Sept. 29, 2016. Thirteen WTIs are underway with USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group leading the Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training (SWATT). SWATT is a three-week exercise to tactically prepare cruisers and destroyers for carrier strike group integration. SMWDC opened June 9, 2015 at Naval Base San Diego and is responsible for increasing the tactical proficiency of the Navy's surface warfare community through the creation of warfare doctrine, underway advanced-training exercises and warfare tactics instructors. (U.S. Navy Combat Camera photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Trevor Andersen/Released)


Princeton, WTIs Launch Live Missiles during SWATT Exercise

PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59) fired a Standard Missile 2 (SM-2) at a target Sept. 29 in a live missile-fire event as part of the Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training (SWATT).

SWATT is a three-week exercise to tactically prepare surface forces for carrier strike group and amphibious ready group integration.

"Part of what we're doing out here is called 'live fire with a purpose,'" said Capt. Christopher Barnes, deputy commander of Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC). "We're shooting weapons in tactical situations that mirror potentially what you would see when you go overseas."

Four ships got a chance to fire at an aerial target over the course of two days.

"This program is done to provide tactically relevant and realistic scenarios," said Lt. Cmdr. Derek Rader, a warfare tactics instructor (WTI) embarked on Princeton. "What we've been chartered to do is to support the ships in their event and help them with their scenario development. The flip side to that is we also help with the analysis so that what comes to the strike group commander and the engineering community is something that's actionable and easy to understand."

Thirteen WTIs and more than 20 staff personnel from SMWDC and other organizations are underway on six ships with the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group, leading SWATT in the Southern California operating area. SWATT prepares ships to work with other ships in a carrier strike group by bringing the units together through a 'crawl, walk, run' process.

"It's new; we're working out the kinks in the process," said Lt. j.g. Zach Arnold, the fire control officer on Princeton. "I think it's great for a new division officer like me, stepping in. It's truly rewarding and it keeps you from going tactically stale."

Lt. Cmdr. Christopher Thomas, Princeton's operations officer agreed.

"SWATT has stretched the imagination of our Sailors and impressed upon them the rigor of the Composite Training Unit Exercise, and what it means to meet the high-end threats of tomorrow," he said.

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