USS DECATUR, At Sea (NNS) -- The guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur (DDG 73), commanded by Cmdr. John Steinberger of Lindenwold, N.J., is scheduled to participate in exercise Valiant Shield 2006 off the coast of Guam June 19-23.
Valiant Shield is a military exercise designed to refine current and build future operational tactics, techniques, and procedures. Sponsored by U.S. Pacific Command, it will exercise the U.S. military's ability to rapidly bring together joint forces in response to any regional crisis, demonstrate ready power to preserve peace and economic stability in the Western Pacific, and assure regional allies of U.S. commitment to treaty obligations and security arrangements.
Combining assets from four services, Valiant Shield 2006 will include a carrier strike force comprised of three carrier strike groups, including 13 combatants and support ships and four submarines, as well as Air Force, Marine, and Coast Guard assets.
Decatur will provided air, surface and undersea warfare (USW) defense in direct support of the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Strike Group. In particular, Decatur, one of the Pacific Fleet's premier undersea warfare platforms, will be involved in the prosecution of multiple potential submarine contacts. By contributing its expertise in this vital area, Decatur's crew hopes to make a significant contribution to the weeklong event.
"Valiant Shield will demonstrate U.S. ability to bring three carrier strike groups together and operate as a cohesive Carrier Strike Force," said Lt. Cmdr. Bob Poling, Decatur's executive officer, originally from Las Vegas. "No other Navy in the world can boast such a capability."
Sixty-seven distinguished visitors from Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Russian Federation, Singapore and Thailand are scheduled to observe the exercise from Abraham Lincoln, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), and USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63); others are scheduled to observe from shore facilities on the nearby island of Guam.
"Valiant Shield will give our USW team a chance to showcase its talents," said Senior Chief Sonar Technician (SW) Thomas White, originally from Gardner, Mass. "It will provide vital training in a real-world environment that will directly enhance our ability to respond to the evolving potential submarine threat."
Decatur left its San Diego homeport Jan. 4, as part of the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group. It spent time off the coast of the Horn of Africa, where it conducted maritime security operations with the Pakistani-led Combined Task Force 150, and in the North Arabian Sea, where it supported the French-led Combined Task Force 473 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
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