US aircraft carrier holds anti-submarine drill with Turkish Navy

From left to right, the guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG 94), TCG Gemlik (F 492), the guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG 56), TCG Gaziantep (F 490), and the guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) conduct an anti-submarine warfare exercise (ASWEX)
U.S., Turkish Navy ships during ASWEX. Photo: U.S. Navy

Ships assigned to the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (Ike CSG) met with Turkish naval forces to stage an anti-submarine warfare exercise on June 25.

Shortened to ASWEX, the exercise was designed to utilize the navies’ skills while defending multiple units from possible sub-surface threats.

“Anti-submarine warfare is a major component in protecting the U.S. homeland and reassuring our commitment to our NATO partners,” said Capt. Scott Switzer, commander of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26 and the sea combat commander for Ike CSG. “Working with our counterparts in the Turkish Navy helps hone our skills and amplifies our interoperability for future missions.”

The ASWEX, Ike CSG’s second since departing homeport June 1, focused on communication, maneuvering and surveillance and was executed from the guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG 94).

“This is a great opportunity to work with Turkey and to practice all components of anti-submarine warfare,” said Lt. Alex Coker, submarine operations officer for DESRON 26. “The exercise execution was safe and professional for all units involved.”

The centerpiece of the group, aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69)(Ike) and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3, also took part in an air-defense exercise along with Turkish naval forces ships.

The ADEX portion required communication between participating ships and aircraft in order to share tactical data and carry out a safe exercise.

“All units in the carrier strike group must work together to maintain the recognized air picture,” said Lt. Mathew Rechkemmer, the air and missile defense commander’s liaison officer to Ike CSG. “Our mission is to ensure all ships and aircraft are ready to defend themselves and protect the aircraft carrier at all times.”

Throughout the exercise, each unit was responsible for its share of a collaborative effort, strengthening the interoperability between each nation’s military. The ships involved in the exercises include ships from the Ike CSG guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG 56) and guided-missile destroyers Nitze and USS Mason (DDG 87); other U.S. ships operating in the area: USS Donald Cook (DDG 75), USS Porter (DDG 78), and the Turkish G-class frigates TCG Gemlik (F-492), TCG Gaziantep (F-490).