George H.W. Bush Strike Group Participates in Saxon Warrior

Story Number: NNS110521-06Release Date: 5/21/2011 4:05:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Timothy Walter, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) Public Affairs

USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH, At Sea (NNS) -- George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group (GHWB CSG) commenced Saxon Warrior '11, May 19.

Saxon Warrior is an exercise designed to develop theater-specific combat skills as well as enhance cooperation between multi-national forces and government agencies.

Led by the United Kingdom-based Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST), Saxon Warrior presents a myriad of challenges to the multi-national and multi-platform force by creating a diverse and unpredictable war environment based on fictional geo-political and military scenarios.

The eight-day exercise taking place off the coast of England is presented in phases. The initial phase presents single-mission scenarios encompassing surface, submarine, and air combat, as well as maritime security operations such as counter-piracy and visit, board, search and seizure missions. The various stand-alone scenarios are designed to effectively test a large number of combat skills in preparation for the final phase's multi-mission war and future real-world maritime operations. The exercise will culminate with a simulated war, May 26.

In addition to enhancing the mission readiness of GHWB CSG, the exercise presents an opportunity to carry out sustained and coordinated military operations with a number of allies and military agencies. The exercise will include surface ships, submarines and aircraft from several North American Treaty Organization (NATO) members including the U.S., United Kingdom, France, Germany, Sweden, Canada and Spain.

"We look forward to working with U.K. and other NATO forces during Saxon Warrior '11," said Rear Adm. Nora Tyson, GHWB CSG commander. "These crucial training opportunities greatly enhance our interoperability and information sharing, which help ensure our national and international security. It's all about building partnerships, establishing trust, and leveraging the unique capabilities and strengths of each member of the combined force."

Saxon Warrior presents an opportunity to face a variety of geo-political situations that change from day to day, providing a tactical contrast that will build upon the in-depth, extended timeline scenario training used during the composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX) and joint task force exercise (JTFEX), which the strike group completed in February.

Capt. John Fuller, deputy commodore, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 22, said the rapidly changing nature of Saxon Warrior provides a different military training environment for a deployed strike group.

"Saxon Warrior gives us a challenging environment in which to use our war-fighting skills," Fuller said. "We have to think quickly outside the box. The more agile we are, the more prepared we'll be for any mission that comes up during deployment. That's the beauty of Saxon Warrior."

During the exercise, multi-national aircraft squadrons will practice low-level flight operations, air-to-air engagements, long-range strikes and close support of surface combatant ships. As in previous exercises, training vessels will be used to provide boarding parties a realistic test of their skills on missions that may be encountered in future areas of deployment.

Cmdr. Erich Retz, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 2's future operations officer, said the wide variety of warfare scenarios will challenge both the strike group as well as the allied forces.

"Saxon Warrior will test every aspect of our war-fighting capabilities-from air wing strikes to the self-defense of the carrier." Retz said. "The beauty of operating with coalition partners is that we practice with them, learn their strengths, and then blend those strengths together to make the most potent coalition force possible."

George H.W. Bush Strike Group consists of Carrier Strike Group 2 staff, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8, Destroyer Squadron 22 staff, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), guided-missile cruisers USS Gettysburg (CG 64) and USS Anzio (CG 68), and guided-missile destroyers USS Truxtun (DDG 103), USS Mitscher (DDG 57), and ESPS Almirante Juan de Borbon (F 102).

The deployment is the first for USS George H.W. Bush and USS Truxtun.

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