NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- More than 16,000 service members from five countries will participate in Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) 06-2 "Operation Bold Step," July 21-31.
Operation Bold Step will present U.S., interagency, and coalition forces with realistic and dynamic exercise threats that closely replicate operational challenges military forces routinely encounter around the world. It is designed to provide quality, realistic, dynamic training environments to prepare U.S. forces for joint, interagency, and combined operations, and sustainment training for units that recently returned from deployment.
JTFEX 06-2 serves as the forward-certifying event for the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) Carrier Strike Group, and sustainment training for units from the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Carrier Strike Group and USS Bataan (LHD 5) Expeditionary Strike Group. JTFEX 06-2 also serves as a significant training milestone toward U.S. 2nd Fleet's staff certification as a Joint Task Force (JTF) headquarters, planned for 2007.
"This is a unique opportunity assembling this joint force - not just the Navy and Marine Corps team, but the Army and our coalition partners," said Vice Adm. Mark Fitzgerald, commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet. "This exercise will not only test the Ike Strike Group, but also our command and control capabilities as a Joint Task Force.
The 2nd Fleet staff will be conducting assessment, planning, and execution functions at the operational level of conflict with the support of U.S. Joint Forces Command, U.S. Northern Command, Coast Guard Atlantic Area, the State Department, and several others.
U.S. 2nd Fleet is hosting Dr. Carol Fuller, from the State Department. Dr. Fuller is the director, Plans and Policy directorate, Western Hemisphere Affairs (WHA) bureau at the State Department and is also Commander, 2nd Fleet, Vice Admiral Mark Fitzgerald's political adviser.
JTFEX 06-2 will be the first opportunity for WHA and 2nd Fleet to train together in a dynamic environment, integrating the political and military instruments of power at both the operational and strategic levels and will continue a fruitful relationship between the two organizations in support of transformational diplomacy and JTF proficiency.
U.S. and coalition naval assets underway for the exercise include the 2nd Fleet flagship, USS Wasp (LHD 1), with embarked 2nd Fleet distributed staff, the aircraft carriers Dwight D. Eisenhower and Theodore Roosevelt with associated units, and units from the Bataan Expeditionary Strike Group.
Participating forces will train using equipment and systems that incorporate the latest advances in technology, and will support the full range of capabilities that may be required in various geographic areas.
The IKE CSG consists of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CCSG) 8, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, Commander, Destroyer Squadron (CDS) 28, guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio (CG 68), guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87), guided-missile destroyer USS Ramage (DDG 61), fast combat support ship USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8) and the Los Angeles-class submarine USS Newport News (SSN 750). The French submarine FRS Emeraude (S 604) will also be participating.
The TR CSG units participating include Theodore Roosevelt, CCSG 2, CVW-8, CDS 22, guided-missile cruiser USS Vicksburg (CG 69), frigates USS McInerney (FFG 8) and USS Kauffman (FFG 59).
Units from the Bataan Expeditionary Strike Group with elements from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit will also be underway for the exercise. The units include the amphibious transport dock ship USS Shreveport (LPD 12), amphibious dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51), guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72), guided-missile destroyer USS Mahan (DDG 72) and frigate USS Underwood (FFG 36).
Elements from the Army's 34th Infantry Division and the 8th Canadian Brigade Group will make up the Combined Coalition Force Land Component Command for the exercise.
The Combined Coalition Forces Air Component Command includes Airborne Early Warning and Air Missile Defense and Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command Mobile Sea Range. The Mobile Sea Range supports all levels of the Atlantic Fleet's pre-deployment and sustainment training, ship trials, Fleet/Department of Defense/U.S. Northern Command exercises and test evaluation events.
In addition, the following forces are participating in the exercise as the opposing force against the U.S. and coalition forces: the Colombian submarine ARC Tayrona (SS 29), USS Cape St. George (CG 71), USS Taylor (FFG 50), USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58), USS Nitze (DDG 94), USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) and USS Doyle (FFG 39).
For related news, visit the Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/c2f/.