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Military Sealift Command Ships in Southeast Asia Participate in Valiant Shield

04 November 2020

From Commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific

Several Military Sealift Command Far East ships took part in exercise Valiant Shield 2020 on Guam and around the Mariana Island Range Complex.

PACIFIC OCEAN - Several Military Sealift Command Far East ships took part in exercise Valiant Shield 2020 on Guam and around the Mariana Island Range Complex.

 

Participating MSC FE ships included the fleet replenishment oilers USNS John Ericsson (T-AO 194), USNS Pecos (T-AO 197); the dry cargo/ammunition ships USNS Alan Shepard (T-AKE 3) and USNS Charles Drew (T-AKE 10), and the expeditionary fast transport USNS Millinocket (T-EPF 3).

This marks the eighth iteration of Valiant Shield, a U.S.-only, biennial field training exercise focused on integrated joint training in a blue-water environment. This training enables real-world proficiency in sustaining joint forces through detecting, locating, tracking, and engaging units at sea, in the air, on land, and in cyberspace in response to a range of mission areas.  Participating forces exercised a wide range of capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of joint forces, which often hinges on the continuous logistics support of Military Sealift Command Far East crews and ships.  

“Military Sealift Command Far East assets and U.S. Naval Expeditionary Forces routinely train to build a more agile fleet where logistics can be distributed across the Indo-Pacific, allowing for a more responsive, independent, and self-sustaining force,” said Capt. Samuel F. de Castro, Commodore of MSC Far East.

The lessons MSC crews learned from exercises like Valiant Shield assist U.S. forces in developing regional and global power projection capabilities that provide a full range of options to succeed in defense of U.S. interests and those of its allies and partners around the world. 

“MSC Far East crews are prepared to join U.S. forces in order to rapidly respond to crises and contingencies across the spectrum of operations from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to armed conflict in this area of responsibility,” de Castro said.

Valiant Shield is a series of military exercises that promote integration and interoperability among joint forces. Each successive exercise builds on lessons learned from the previous training to validate and enhance complementary capabilities and develop new tactics, techniques, and procedures. This training provides the deterrence and stabilizing effects of a force-in-being, ready at the outset of a crisis or contingency, without the need for force buildup or extensive mission rehearsal.

“MSC Far East crews and other Valiant Shield participants had the opportunity to further enhance our capabilities and proficiencies to respond to crises as part of a joint effort,” said de Castro. 
 
In addition to MSC FE ships, participants included USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), three surface ships, an amphibious ready group -- to include three amphibious vessels – numerous aircraft and personnel from the U.S. Navy, Air Force, Army, and Marine Corps.

As a safety precaution due to COVID-19, crews were restricted to their ships to eliminate interaction with local civilian and military residents.

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