USS Kearsarge Undertakes Force Protection Exercises

The amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) conducts its Force Protection Exercises (FPEX) at Naval Station Norfolk, Feb. 19, as part of the ship’s certification process.

Lt. j.g. Billy C. Newell, Kearsarge’s security officer, said:

FPEX is an exercise of evolutions designed to test the effectiveness of our anti-terrorism plan, preplanned responses (PPRs) and our security training team. It is evaluated by Commander Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 4 Anti-Terrorism Office.

Newell said that Sailors are expected to demonstrate competence in executing responses, weapons handling ability and the capability to defend the ship and crew during FPEX.

Newell added:

It prepares and tests the crew’s ability to defend against asymmetrical tactics used by terrorists and pirates, as well as successfully operate in potential high risk environments.

Kearsarge completed ATG’s Anti-terrorism Force Protection (ATFP) basic phase 1.4 certification in October. This certification is the pre-requisite for FPEX.

FPEX is the final step for the ship’s security certification. Possible scenarios include, but aren’t limited to, observation, active shooter, personal and vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (IEDs), floating IEDs, water and swimmer attacks.

Along with Kearsarge, the guided-missile destroyers USS McFaul (DDG 74) and USS Bainbridge (DDG 96) also participated in the two-day exercise hosted by CSG-4.

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Image: US Navy