USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- Ships from the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HST CSG), along with 13 foreign ships from nine nations, began Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) 09-4 Sept. 14.
JTFEX is a scenario-driven tactical exercise that focuses on major combat operations for the HST CSG, which will provide necessary training for the strike group to proceed into a Fleet Synthetic Training - Joint (FST-J) exercise for final deployment certification.
JTFEX provides a "graduate-level" exercise to ensure U.S. and coalition forces are interoperable, capable and ready to execute the six core capabilities of the Maritime Strategy – forward presence, deterrence, sea control, power projection, maritime security and humanitarian assistance/disaster response.
"JTFEX 09-4 will present the strike group with challenging, dynamic exercise threats. This scenario, and the opportunity to work with our coalition partners will prepare our strike group for the varied missions we will be assigned when we deploy," said Rear Adm. Patrick Driscoll, commander, Carrier Strike Group 10.
Leadership on board HST is looking forward to the challenge.
"Like all exercises, JTFEX is a great learning opportunity. It's also a chance to show the rest of the Navy the hard work and dedication the Sailors and Marines aboard USS Harry S. Truman put forth every day," said Capt. Joe Clarkson, the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) commanding officer.
Participating countries include Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, The United Kingdom and The United States. Some of the participating units include the Canadian ship HMCS Fredericton (FFG 337), Brazilian ship BNS Liberale (F43), Italian submarine ITS Scire (S527), and Royal Netherland ships HNLMS Tromp (F803) and HNLMS Van Speijk (F828).
JTFEX 09-4 also marks the first ever inclusion of the Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group 1, which includes the Danish ocean patrol vessel HDMS Thetis (F357), the Belgian coastal minehunter BNS Lobelia (M 921), the Royal Netherland minehunter HNLMS Urk (M861), the Estonian minehunter ENS Sakala (M314), the British minesweeper HMS Quorn, and the Royal Norwegian minesweeper KNM Rauma (M352). In addition to the foreign ships and units, HST CSG has embarked several foreign naval liaison officers to incorporate into its training.
"The Royal Navy participates in the exercise with two frigates and we're looking forward to the exercise," said Royal Netherlands Navy Commander Bud Boots. "I think the exercise is a perfect training opportunity for us to practice real coalition cooperaion."
"This exercise is a great opportunity for the Brazilian Navy to learn and interact with other Navies," said Brazilian Navy Lt. Cezar Santos.
The HST CSG is made up of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), with its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3 and embarked Destroyer Squadron 26 staff, the guided-missile cruiser USS Hue City (CG 66); the guided-missile destroyers USS Carney (DDG 64), USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79) and USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81).
CVW-3 consists of Strike Fighter Squadrons VFA-32, VFA-37, VFA-105 and VMFA-312; Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron VAQ-130; Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron VAW-126; and Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron HS-7.
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.