USS COLE, At Sea (NNS) -- The commander of Strike Force Training Atlantic visited the guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67) to meet with senior leadership from the Cole, the guided-missile frigate USS John L. Hall (FFG 32), and Commander, Destroyer Squadron (COMDESRON) 24, Oct. 8.
Cole, Hall, COMDESRON 24 and the guided-missile destroyer USS Ramage (DDG 61) are currently participating in Exercise Joint Warrior 09-2. This is a U.K.-led multinational, multi-warfare exercise that is designed to improve interoperability between allied navies and prepare ships and Sailors for upcoming deployments. Joint Warrior incorporates conventional warfare exercises and Fleet Irregular Warfare Training (FIWT).
The exercise focuses heavily on non-traditional warfare areas such as counterpiracy and maritime security operations. FIWT is a valuable means for Sailors to address and overcome emerging threats.
"The training has been going really well for us," said John L. Hall's Commanding Officer Cmdr. Derek Lavan. "This is a lot more realistic than anything I have ever seen before. The various evolutions going on simultaneously are a challenge for the entire crew."
Joint Warrior scenarios include small boat attacks, air defense, anti-submarine warfare, and boarding operations. The exercise is taking place off the coast of Scotland.
"The dimensions here are much different compared to training off the East Coast," said Cole's Commanding Officer Cmdr. Edward Devinney. "We aren't just going out to a designated box and conducting missions by ourselves. Working alongside other U.S. ships and allied ships is fantastic, and also this exercise allows us to stretch our legs in terms of navigational capabilities."
While aboard Cole, Rear Adm. Garry White discussed Joint Warrior with the present leadership, and inquired about their current training states and objectives in order to receive feedback for future exercises.
Devinney and Lavan agreed that Joint Warrior is a well-executed, complex and comprehensive training program that is an excellent ship-certifying event.
"As an independent deployer, I would much rather do an event like Joint Warrior than something where the ship would operate alone," Devinney said to White. "Very rarely do ships energize different warfare areas simultaneously while operating in confined waters."
White told his audience that it is important to gain all the experience they can out of Joint Warrior. He said Joint Warrior supports the nation's maritime strategy by enhancing our relationship with allied partners and by providing ready maritime forces for global assignment.
"We need to train aggressively and maximize this very precious training opportunity," White said. "Push yourselves and instill that attitude into your Sailors. This is a tremendous opportunity."
For more news from USS Cole, visit www.navy.mil/local/ddg67/.