NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Headquarters Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO) personnel supported USS George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group's (GHWB CSG) Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) at Commander, U.S. Second Fleet, Feb. 11-21.
In support of JTFEX, representatives from Canada, Denmark, Greece, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, UK, and U.S., are working together in a scenario-driven tactical exercise that focuses on major combat operations for the GHWB CSG, and serves as the final deployment certification.
"The key mechanism is information exchange from the U.S. domain into the NATO domain, and how we're able to plan with that information," said U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Mark Coppess, STRIKFORNATO. "It breeds a level of interoperability that facilitates responsiveness if we do get the call and have to come together to execute the task we're given."
While STRIKFORNATO has had routine engagements with U.S. forces in the past, this is the first time STRIKFORNATO is participating as a component commander in a CSG certification.
"We practice as we play," said Operations Specialist 2nd Class Cyrus Jones, STRIKFORNATO. "If we don't practice now, we won't be able to get it together later, which is why it's so important to train early and often."
With different standard operating procedures, languages, data systems and forms, the NATO partners are learning how each country operates, so they can work in concert together.
"This is a great opportunity to get together and see how other nations do business, because we can learn from them and vice versa," said German Navy Senior Chief Julia Klemme, Communication and Information Systems deploy senior chief.
GHWB Strike Group ships and units, participating in JTFEX include, USS George H. W. Bush, USS Mitscher (DDG 57), USS Gettysburg (CG 64), USS Truxtun (DDG 103), USS Anzio (CG 68), the squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8, as well as Spanish frigate ESPS Almirante Juan de Borbon (F 102), French Frigate Primauguet (D644) and French Submarine Perle (S606).
For more news from Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/c2f/.