USS LABOON, At Sea (NNS) -- As the training in Joint Warrior 10-1 intensifies off the coast of Scotland, Norfolk-based Commander, Strike Force Training Atlantic (CSFTL) praised the value the exercise brings to fleet readiness.
"Providing safe, effective, and realistic training is a primary goal for my command," said Rear Adm. Garry R. White, CSFTL, which is the command under U.S. 2nd Fleet responsible for the Joint Warrior exercise series. "Among the different venues available to meet this goal, the United Kingdom's Joint Warrior exercise ranks among the best."
Joint Warrior presents a unique opportunity for U.S. ships to execute warfare-specific training objectives to achieve independent certification. Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 24 leads the task group of ships in the semi-annual event.
Each ship is given a set of Navy Mission Essential Tasks (NMET), which are mastered through the various Joint Warrior exercises in the different warfare areas, said Lt. Timothy D. Arbulu, force protection and readiness officer for DESRON 24.
"When a ship satisfactorily accomplishes the NMETs, DESRON 24 recommends independent deployment certification for the ship as Maritime Security Operations (MSO) ready," Arbulu said.
The training builds up ship readiness and improves interoperability with partner nations.
"The exercise, as a deployment certification event, presents the opportunity to train cohesively as an individual platform, while simultaneously challenging ships on a strategic, operational and tactical level in a joint and multinational maritime environment," said White.
The simulated phase ended April 16, and the ships began a weeklong, free-play event, which included small boat attacks, boarding operations, air defense and anti-submarine warfare operations.
White said he applauds the value Joint Warrior brings to the Navy and looks forward to future participation and partnership with the UK's Joint Tactical Exercise Planning Staff (JTEPS).
"I commend the JTEPS Team for the superb execution of a well-planned exercise, that engages Sailors and leadership in a diverse range of realistic and extremely beneficial training," said White.
The exercise promotes Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet's three focus areas: conducting safe and effective fleet operations to achieve mission, providing ready maritime forces for global assignment and teaming with allies and partners in execution of the maritime strategy.
Ships participating in Joint Warrior 10-1 are the guided missile destroyers USS Barry (DDG 52) and USS Laboon (DDG 58), the guided missile cruisers USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) and USS Vicksburg (CG 69), the guided missile frigate USS Kauffman (FFG 59) and the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Leroy Grumman (T-AO 195).
For more news from Destroyer Squadron 24, visit www.navy.mil/local/desron24/.