Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, conduct joint integrated training

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Gabriel A. Martinez
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Gabriel A. Martinez

Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, conduct joint integrated training

Commander, Task Force 70 / Carrier Strike Group 5

WESTERN PACIFIC (NNS) – The U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy conducted joint integrated training off the coast of Japan, Nov. 13.

Joint training included units and personnel assigned to the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group, Navy Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 135, and Task Force 72 representing the U.S. Navy; the 1st Battalion 2d Marines, and Marine Air Control Group 18 representing the U.S. Marine Corps; and the 18th Wing, 35th Fighter Wing, and the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron (EBS) representing the U.S. Air Force.

“Exercises like this demonstrate and strengthen our ability to concentrate and integrate the capabilities of our joint forces in response to maritime challenges and contingencies,” said Cmdr. Joshua Fagan, Carrier Strike Group 5 Air Operations Officer. “The events bring together component staffs and tactical units operating out of Guam, the Continental U.S., Okinawa, and bases across mainland Japan, in concert with surface assets against a threat simulated by live, high-end air and surface forces.”

Integrated training included multi-axis defense scenarios, a series of intermediate and long range warfighting events, and maritime combat search and rescue drills to increase joint force capability to respond to regional contingencies and maintain warfighting readiness in the Indo-Pacific.

“Scenarios like these help increase our lethality, readiness, joint force integration, flexibility and agility that can be used in any real-world scenario,” said Lt. Col. Ryan Stallsworth, 9th EBS commander. “We also had B-1 assets from the continental U.S. participating in the exercise, which demonstrated our bomber force’s global reach and long-range strike capabilities.”

The U.S. Navy regularly conducts exercises with other U.S. military branches in the Indo-Pacific to build and maintain warfighting readiness that is responsive, flexible, and honors enduring commitments to mutual defense agreements with regional allies and partners.

1st Battalion 2d Marines demonstrated an ability to rapidly disperse, and seize and retain key maritime terrain to enhance the joint force’s ability to sense and strike high value maritime targets. In this case, the light infantry company reinforced with anti-armor and air capabilities emplaced intelligence gathering capabilities along the shore, and set conditions for distributed joint forward arming and refueling point operations.

“This joint training opportunity exercised the battalion’s ability to conduct distributed command and control, and practice sending and receiving targeting data over a variety of long-range communication methods,” said Lt. Col. Gabe Diana, commanding officer, 1st Battalion, 2d Marines. “These types of exercises enhance our ability to conduct distributed operations, mass joint fires and effects, and ultimately, better support sea control and denial operations throughout the Indo-Pacific.”

Ronald Reagan, the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 5, provides a combat-ready force that protects and defends the United States, as well as the collective maritime interests of its allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific. The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group is forward deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Photo Caption:
PHILIPPINE SEA (Oct. 28, 2020) An EA-18G Growler, attached to the Shadowhawks of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 141, takes off from the flight deck of the Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) during Keen Sword 21. Keen Sword is an example of the strength of U.S.-Japan Alliance, the foundation of peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region for almost 60 years. The relationships built and maintained during these events are critical to our shared capability to respond to contingencies at a moment’s notice.

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