USS KITTY HAWK, At Sea (NNS) -- Navy Carrier Strike Groups (CSGs) led by USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) and USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) began participating in the training exercise Joint Air and Sea Exercises (JASEX) 04, Aug. 8.
JASEX provides a way for the United States to demonstrate its commitment to peace and stability in the western Pacific Ocean in a joint training environment.
"You get two carrier strike groups together flexing the C2 [command and control] structure," said Lt. Ronnie Holladay, surface operations officer for Destroyer Squadron 15. "It's not often that you get to put two carrier strike groups together and operate.
"We've done a lot of air exercises to flex the two air wings together," said Holladay. "We will be doing a lot of surface exercises to practice some of our unique capabilities for surface warfare, and we are also going to test some of our ability at antisubmarine warfare."
"There will be a lot we can take away from this," he added. "We can take that information and make things work better in future exercises."
In addition to planning for future events, exercises of this nature help military forces refine their ability to work together and maximize their combined resources.
"We need to be ready to react to any situation that we may face," said Holladay. "And we need to be able to operate in a joint environment."
In addition to the Kitty Hawk CSG and Stennis CSG, JASEX '04 will bring together elements of the Air Force's 18th Wing from Kadena Air Base, Japan, and forward-deployed elements of the Marine Corps III Marine Expeditionary Force on Okinawa.
The Kitty Hawk CSG is the largest carrier strike group in the Navy and is composed of Kitty Hawk, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, the guided-missile cruisers USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) and USS Cowpens (CG 63), and Destroyer Squadron 15.
Destroyer Squadron 15 is comprised of the guided-missile cruiser USS Vincennes (CG 49), guided-missile destroyers USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) and USS John S. McCain (DDG 56), the destroyer USS Cushing (DD 985), and the guided-missile frigates USS Vandegrift (FFG 48) and USS Gary (FFG 51).
The Stennis CSG includes USS John C. Stennis, the Aegis-equipped guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Howard (DDG 83), the guided-missile frigate USS Ford (FFG 54), the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Salt Lake City (SSN 716) and the replenishment ship USNS Rainier (T-AOE 7).
Also scheduled to participate in JASEX '04 are USS Honolulu (SSN 718), USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49), USNS Impeccable (T-AGOS 23), USNS 1st Lt. Harry L. Martin (T-AK 3015), M/V Pfc. James Anderson, Jr. (T-AK 3002), USS Coronado (AGF 11), Patrol Squadron (VP) 46, and Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron 1.
For related news, visit the USS Kitty Hawk Strike Group Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cv63.