USS PHILIPPINE SEA, At Sea (NNS) -- The guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG-58) earned a semi-annual weapons certification May 19 while participating in the multinational Joint Warrior (JW) exercise.
The cruiser spent a day in Cape Wrath, where the crew focused on gaining their naval surface fire support certification while remaining an active participant in JW.
"One of the main focuses for Philippine Sea in Joint Warrior was naval gunfire support," said Capt. Gary Parriott, commanding officer, USS Philippine Sea. "We did a couple of missions a few days ago and went back into the range and were able to complete our certification exercise."
The drills and scenarios Philippine Sea encountered were especially beneficial for the real-life readiness of the crew.
"All these different factors allowed for watchstanders to really ramp up the tempo and stress level for the crew," said Parriott. "It was a great opportunity for this ship to be part of this kind of exercise."
The experience was valuable due to aspects offered by the international JW setting.
"By having ships participate in this, we bring them up to a much higher multi-ship level," said Capt. John Kersh, commodore, Destroyer Squadron 24. "We have learned from the Royal Navy and their operating procedures, and they have modeled some of their training after how we operate. JW training is a huge asset on an international level."
For Parriott, JW training was unlike any normal training evolution he might encounter near the United States.
"Joint Warrior allowed us to add a level of complexity to an exercise different from what we can do back in the states. Here, there were a large number of ships in a small operating area with close proximity to land. Bring in the simulated attacks, and it's just different training from what we get back in Jacksonville or Norfolk."
Parriott also said participating in a scenario-driven exercise like JW lets Sailors deal with multiple aspects of maritime situations simultaneously, including geo-politics, media relations, tactics and wartime responses.
Parriott included that learning to deal with highly-intense situations was not the only essential element JW provided.
"It's incredibly important to have these relationships with foreign allies. With the number of issues going on around the world, our ability to work with partner nations is absolutely valuable," he said.
Exercise Joint Warrior was a multinational training environment incorporating four U.S. ships with a series of scenario-driven, high-intensity evolutions. The exercise took place May 11-21 and focused on strengthening partnerships and operability among members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). JW also encompassed fleet irregular warfare training (FIWT), allowing participants to focus on counterpiracy, an issue growing more prevalent in the international theater.
Philippine Sea is scheduled for a 10-month upgrade period prior to its next deployment.
For more news from USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.