SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9 completed a four-day Fleet Synthetic Training-Joint Exercise (FST-J) in conjunction with the Army, Air Force, and numerous Navy commands, to include Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, Oct. 10.
Synthetic training exercises are completed while participating units are pierside, simulating a virtual at-sea environment with real-world battle scenarios. It challenges joint forces in tactics and operations, and for Reagan and CSG 9, it provided another tool for maintaining mission readiness.
"This method of training saves us from forming up opposition forces to battle out at sea and going to a war-like scenario," said Cmdr. Stacy Hanna, Reagan's Intelligence Officer. "This is the most robust training we can get in port."
Before the four day exercise, planners spent more than four weeks briefing participating units on the capabilities of the synthetic opposition forces.
"We are pulling in multiple units and commands for this joint exercise," said Hanna. "There were a lot of lessons learned during FST-J, as we worked through processes we have never done together before."
Large scale exercises are normal for carrier strike groups, and complementing those large live exercises with a simulated pier-side exercise provides an additional, and highly effective, tool for preparing for future operations.
"It was one of our first real opportunities to get our entire team together," said Cmdr. Chris Smith, CSG 9 training coordinator. "We could see the entire decision making process work on a much larger scale."
Another benefit of in-port training is the ability to conduct maintenance without causing delays in real world operations.
"Our Combat Systems department aboard Reagan did an awesome job fixing any issues with our systems," added Hanna. "We were able to fully flex, giving valuable training without being out at sea."
Leading the training was Tactical Training Group Pacific (TTGP) whose mission is to provide advanced tactical training to improve proficiency in warfighting and joint operations.
U.S. Third Fleet leads naval forces in the Eastern Pacific from the West Coast of North America to the international date line and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.
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For more news from Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/c3f/.