NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Almost 30,000 U.S., British, and other coalition forces kicked off a major live, virtual and constructive (L-V-C) exercise June 12 in Hampton Roads and along the U.S. Eastern seaboard that is intended to prepare troops for multinational interoperability and to certify the USS John F. Kennedy carrier strike group (CSG) for deployment.
Combined Joint Task Force Exercise 04-2 (CJTFEX 04-2), a U.S. Joint Forces Command directed and sponsored event, runs through June 21, and executes DoD's Joint National Training Capability (JNTC) operability priority, ensuring an initial operational capability by October 2004.
According to Marine Corps Lt. Col. Ben Sandlin, who was the exercise planner and project officer for 16 months, JNTC represents an enhanced way to train joint forces based on an L-V-C environment, which uses manned simulators and computer models, and blends existing operational and strategic exercise facets with live forces.
"The idea is to eventually have a melding of live, virtual and constructive forces on the battleground, so that a player cannot tell the difference between one and the other," said William Johnson, CJTFEX 04-2 event planner.
Concept developers are working toward this goal, but throughout the duration of CJTFEX 04-2, players in simulators could aim and shoot at simulated targets, but live forces would not be targeting simulated opposition forces.
"It's difficult for a live airplane to shoot at a simulated plane or ground target, because there is no target to see visually and no immediate feedback. The pilot can't say 'we saw the target blow-up,'" said Johnson.
USJFCOM planners say CJTFEX 04-2 will focus on a couple of efforts to include providing realistic combat training; offering an adaptive and credible opposing force; establishing common ground truth; and giving high quality feedback. All of these efforts play an important role in achieving forward deployed combatant commander requirements.
"Achieving and maintaining more agile, responsive and connected forces means we must train efficiently and effectively. We're challenging all assumptions, and this advanced joint training does exactly that," said Vice Admiral Gary Roughead, commander of the U.S. Second Fleet and Striking Fleet Atlantic, and the joint task force commander for CJTFEX 04-2.
As a result of this enhanced training environment, participants will have a global, network-centric capability that strengthens military transformation efforts to promote warfighter effectiveness.
"This exercise provides all participants with invaluable experience in joint and coalition operations, and I'm especially impressed with the innovation and technical acumen that is enabling this JNTC event," said Roughead.
Coalition forces from the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Denmark, Peru, the Netherlands, Canada, Germany and Norway, as well as U.S. troops returning from deployment and reserve units will be participating in the exercise.
For related news, visit the U.S. Joint Forces Command Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/usjfc.