NORFOLK (NNS) -- More than 15,000 service members from four countries will participate in Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) 08-4 "Operation Brimstone", July 21-31 in North Carolina and off the eastern U.S. coast from Virginia to Florida.
JTFEX 08-4 serves as a ready-for-deployment certification event for the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TR CSG) and the Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group (IWO ESG). The exercise will also serve as a Joint Task Force Capable Headquarters sustainment event. In addition, JTFEX 08-4 will offer preliminary accreditation for 2nd Fleet's Maritime Headquarters with Maritime Operations Center (MHQ with MOC)). MHQ with MOC is a new approach to command and control for fleet commanders.
"This exercise is a tremendous opportunity to train; not only as the Navy and Marine Corps team, but with our joint and coalition partners as well," said Commander, 2nd Fleet Vice Adm. Marty Chanik.
"JTFEX 08-4 will flex our warfighting capabilities from the operational level through expeditionary strike force and strike group operations with several of our coalition partners – France, Brazil and the United Kingdom."
The exercise also marks the first time that forces from Navy Expeditionary Combat Command are participating in an East-Coast JTFEX. NECC forces operating in the littorals and riverine environment are supporting integrated operations.
"Navy Expeditionary Combat Command provides a self-contained adaptive force package with a command element tailored to support the full spectrum of operations from major combat operations to unconventional and irregular warfare," said NECC commander Rear Adm. Mike Tillotson.
U.S. and coalition naval assets underway for the exercise include the U.S. aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) with associated units including the British aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal (RO 7), the Brazilian Navy frigate Greenhalgh (F-46) and the French submarine FS Amethyste (S 605). BNS Greenhalgh is the first Brazilian Navy ship to operate integrated in a U.S. strike group.
French Rafale fighter aircraft assigned to the 12th Squadron, and Hawkeye early warning aircraft assigned to the 4th Squadron will conduct carrier qualifications and cyclic flight operations with U.S. Carrier Air Wing 8 during Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group's Joint Task Force Exercise. This marks the first integrated U.S. and French carrier qualifications and cyclic flight operations aboard a U.S. aircraft carrier.
The TR CSG is made up of: USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71); Commander, Carrier Strike Group 2 (CCSG-2); Carrier Air Wing 8 (CVW-8); Commander, Destroyer Squadron 22 (CDS-22); the guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61); the guided-missile destroyers USS Mason (DDG 87), and USS Nitze (DDG 94) homeported in Norfolk; the attack submarine USS Springfield (SSN 761) homeported in Groton, Conn.; and the guided-missile destroyer USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) homeported in Mayport, Fla.
The IWO ESG consists of USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), Commander, Amphibious Squadron Four (CPR-4) based at Little Creek, Va.; the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26 MEU) based at Camp Lejune, N.C.; the amphibious transport dock ship San Antonio (LPD 17); guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72); and the guided-missile destroyer USS Ramage (DDG 61), homeported in Norfolk; the dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) homeported at Little Creek, Va.; the guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) homeported in Mayport, Fla., and the attack submarine USS Hartford (SSN 768) homeported in Groton, Conn.
The Navy Expeditionary Combat Task Group (NECTG) is made up of: Riverine Group 1 staff augmented with personnel from throughout the NECC force, Riverine Squadron 1, Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron Ten, based in Jacksonville, Fla.; an air detachment from Naval Construction Forces Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11 based in Gulfport, Miss.; Navy Cargo Handling Battalion 3, based in Alameda, Calif.), and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit 6 plus EOD Support Unit based at Little Creek, Va.
In addition, the following forces are participating in the exercise simulating opposition forces: the guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64), homeported in Mayport, Fla.; the guided missile cruisers USS San Jacinto (CG 56), USS Anzio (CG 68) and USS Normandy (CG 60), the guided-missile destroyers USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79), USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81); and the guided-missile frigate USS Carr (FFG 52), all homeported in Norfolk.
For more news from Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/c2f/.