US Navy Task Force Arrives in Scotland

Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26, guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64), guided-missile destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG 57) and Helicopter Maritime Strike (HSM) 46 Detachment 2 pulled into the port of Faslane, Scotland for a port visit, Sept. 26.

Gettysburg, Mitscher and fleet replenishment ship USNS Leroy Grumman (TAO 195) are in the area to take part in Exercise Joint Warrior.

Test Squadron 1, Patrol Squadron (VP) 9 and VP 10 will arrive later this week and also play a role in the exercise, which begins Oct. 1.

Joint Warrior is a coalition exercise designed and led by the joint tactical exercise planning staff in the United Kingdom. Joint Warrior is the United Kingdom’s advanced certification course and is on par with a U.S. Joint Task Force Exercise, which certifies U.S. ships for deployment.

“Before any kind of major operation or deployment, we want to make sure that the ships are fully capable and the crew is ready to go,” said Capt. Bob Hein, Gettysburg’s commanding officer. “That’s kind of what we’re doing in this training event.”

Exercise Joint Warrior is intended to improve interoperability between allied navies and prepare them for possible joint exercises in the real world. Maritime support reconnaissance patrol aircraft from Experimental Evaluation Joint Warrior gives coalition forces a chance to find out what each country’s navy is capable of and how they can work with each other.

The exercise also gives the ships the rare opportunity to practice in a real-world training environment.

“Many of the allied units involved in Joint Warrior exercises will be the same units our ships will see on deployment.” said Capt. Nelson Castro, commander, DESRON 26. “This familiarity allows for the development of trust.”

Naval Today Staff, September 27, 2012