USS Monterey, US Air Force Boost Interoperability

USS Monterey, US Air Force Boost Interoperability

Guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) conducted an air operations for maritime surface warfare exercise in the Persian Gulf, July 17.

The exercise was a joint operation between Monterey and aircraft from U.S. Air Force, Central Command.

“This was an excellent opportunity for Monterey to improve interoperability with U.S. Air Force assets deployed to the Central Command area of responsibility,” said Lt. Cmdr. Robert Watts, the ship’s operations officer. “It also allowed Monterey to practice joint tactics, techniques, and procedures in the dynamic maritime environment.”

Monterey launched two rigid-hull inflatable boats to simulate small boat threats that were detected by an Air Force E-8 Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) aircraft. Two U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft were then directed to investigate, identify, target, and destroy the targets. Monterey and the JSTARS aircraft took turns controlling and directing the Strike Eagles while practicing joint procedures to defend Monterey from small craft attack.

“It was a very successful exercise,” said Watts. “Both Monterey and U.S. Air Force participants met or exceeded all training objectives. This exercise improves our ability to operate more effectively and efficiently with joint partners in the region.”

The two-hour exercise concluded with a fly-by of Monterey after the F-15E Strike Eagles had eliminated all simulated targets during multiple inbound runs.

Monterey is currently deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility.

Press release, August 2, 2013; Image: US Navy