NORFOLK, Va. — The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) and the ships and aircraft of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 2, the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (IKE CSG), departed for deployment Feb. 18 after successfully completing a historic Composite Unit Training Exercise (COMPTUEX).
That COMPTUEX included a NATO vignette and training with SEALS from an East Coast-based Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Group for the first time in recent history, the U.S. 2nd Fleet said in a Feb. 18 release.
“COMPTUEX provided graduate-level training that simulates the full spectrum of operations, low intensity to high-end combat that IKE CSG must be ready for,” said Rear Adm. Scott Robertson, commander, CSG-2. “The live, virtual and constructive training with a NATO backdrop enabled the team to hone its application of integrated, multiple domain warfare. We are ready to deploy!”
The inaugural NATO vignette, developed by CSG 4 and Combined Joint Operations from the Sea Centre of Excellence (CJOS COE), consisted of familiarity training designed to facilitate Allied maritime interoperability and integration, in practical terms using NATO procedures, messaging formats and chat capabilities. The vignette developed and refined a clear list of interoperability requirements for future Navy force generation, and improved allied maritime command and control linkages.
“To ensure truly effective deterrence and defense in the North Atlantic, we need to make sure that the navies of NATO can work as one team, and that means interoperability is vital,” said Commodore Tom Guy, Royal Navy, deputy director CJOS COE. “This NATO vignette has been a great step forward in pursuing allied interoperability. CJOS COE looks forward to continuing to develop this for future deploying strike groups.”
Additionally, NSW SEAL, Boat and Reconnaissance units integrated with the IKE CSG team to enhance warfighting lethality in the maritime domain and to educate Fleet leadership on unique NSW capabilities. The SEAL Team focused on supporting COMPTUEX in maritime strike warfare. During the training, personnel helped with over-the-horizon targeting, directed combat aircraft’s action in close-air support, and other offensive air operations. NSW forces controlled operations from a Task Group headquarters. To extend the IKE CSG reach, NSW forces employed multi-mission combatant craft, which allowed operators to get closer to simulated enemies and send the real-time operational picture back to decision-makers on the ship and beyond. The SEAL Team also sent an advisor to the training cell to provide expertise on NSW capabilities.
The opportunity to support IKE CSG objectives by showcasing NSW’s unique contributions to distributed maritime operations improved integration and interoperability with the fleet. NSW was able to validate near-peer maritime and land-based tactics, techniques and procedures to demonstrate NSW’s critical role in global power competition.
COMPTUEX is a live, virtual, and constructive (LVC) training that provides Sailors from the IKE CSG with an opportunity to operate real equipment with real risk. LVC training increases interoperability and provides the fleet with unprecedented flexibility in conducting training across the spectrum of operations and threat scenarios. CSG 4 was involved in building the scenarios and assessing performance to ensure that when IKE CSG shows up to the fleet they are ready to operate.
The IKE CSG is a multiplatform team of ships, aircraft and more than 6,000 Sailors, capable of carrying out a wide variety of missions around the globe.
Deploying ships and aircraft of the strike group, commanded by Rear Adm. Scott Robertson, include flagship USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), commanded by Capt. Paul F. Campagna; eight squadrons from Carrier Air Wing Three; Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers USS Monterey (CG 61) and USS Vella Gulf (CG 72); Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Mitscher (DDG 57), USS Laboon (DDG 58), USS Mahan (DDG 72) and USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116) from Destroyer Squadron 22 stationed at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia.
Squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3, commanded by Capt. Marcos Jasso, embarked on Eisenhower include the “Fighting Swordsmen” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 32, “Gunslingers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 105, “Wildcats” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 131, “Rampagers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 83; “Dusty Dogs” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 7; “Swamp Foxes” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 74; “Screwtops” of Airborne Command and Control Squadron (VAW) 123; “Zappers” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 130, and a detachment from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40 “Rawhides.”
C2F exercises operational authorities over assigned ships, aircraft, and landing forces on the East Coast and the Atlantic. When directed, C2F conducts exercises and operations within the U.S. European Command area of operations as an expeditionary fleet, providing Naval Forces Europe an additional maneuver arm to operate forces dynamically in theater.
Article by: SEAPOWER - Tuesday February 23, 2021