'Joint Warrior', a two-week exercise, designed and led by the Joint Tactical Exercise Planning Staff (JTEPS) in the UK has begun.
'Joint Warrior' is the largest military exercise in Europe and began off the coast of Scotland, Oct. 1, 2012.
"The exercise is designed to test the skill, knowledge and equipment of the participants in a range of different environments," said Capt. Paul Titterton, director of JTEPS. "By training in this fashion, we are able to prepare for a whole range of potential and ultimately realistic tactical scenarios, from out-and-out warfare to rescuing fishermen captured by pirates."
Three United States Navy ships are taking part in the exercise, led by Commander Destroyer Squadron (COMDESRON) 26. They are guided missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64), guided missile destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG 57) and fleet replenishment oiler USNS Leroy Grumman (TAO 195).
Joining the ships is Detachment 2 from the Grandmasters of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 46 and U.S. maritime support reconnaissance patrol aircraft from Experimental Evaluation Test Squadron (VX) 1, Patrol Squadron (VP) 9 and VP 10.
"For us, it's kind of a special treat to be one of the ships that gets to go out there and do this exercise with our coalition partners," said Capt. Bob Hein, Commanding Officer of Gettysburg. "Most likely, these same folks that we are training with, I'm going to see out there in eight months doing operations."
Joint Warrior is designed to improve interoperability and help integrate coalition forces and prepare them for possible joint exercises in a real-world environment.
There are land, air and sea units participating from the US and eight other countries, the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Holland, Belgium, Estonia, Norway and Sweden.
Photo: Sailors aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64) tend line as the ship prepares to get underway from Faslane, Scotland, to take part in exercise Joint Warrior 12-2