USS RONALD REAGAN, At Sea (NNS) -- Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7, along with other ships and military personnel from around the U.S. Pacific Fleet, is making preparations for Valiant Shield 2006, one of the largest joint military exercises in this region in more than a decade.
Two ships from DESRON 7, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS McCampbell (DDG 85) and USS Decatur (DDG 73), will be operating off the coast of Guam June 19-23. The exercise will involve more than 20,000 Sailors, Airmen, Soldiers, Marines and Coast Guardsmen. Valiant Shield 2006 will also see more than 300 aircraft and 28 ships from the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63), and USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Carrier Strike Groups, as well as the Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard. McCampbell and Decatur are part of the Reagan Strike Group.
According to Lt. Cmdr. Andy Liggett, DESRON 7's plans officer, the squadron will be supporting the exercise in many ways.
"DESRON 7's mission is to support [the] Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group's undersea warfare and surface warfare commander, while simultaneously coordinating with the Lincoln and Kitty Hawk Strike Groups," said Liggett.
Liggett, a San Diego native, added that this exercise would give DESRON 7 a chance to develop new skills in a different environment.
"This is a great opportunity for DESRON 7," said Liggett. "Operating in the Pacific is much different than the Middle East, and it should give us the chance to refocus our skills toward those necessary for operating in the blue water environment of the Pacific."
Liggett added that, along with performing anti-submarine warfare patrols, DESRON 7 will be participating in a photo exercise with other ships and units involved in Valiant Shield 2006.
Liggett added that Valiant Shield 2006's overall goal is to enhance the operational capabilities of multiple military services and their abilities to respond to different contingencies in the Pacific Theater in a short amount of time.
To learn more about Valiant Shield, visit the Web site www.pacom.mil.
For related news, visit the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn76/.