US Navy to kick off sixth Valiant Shield exercise

U.S. Pacific Command units are scheduled to participate in exercise Valiant Shield (VS) 2016, September 12-23 on Guam and around the Marianas Island Range Complex.

According to the U.S. Navy, participants include USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), nine surface ships, the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group – to include three amphibious vessels – an estimated 18,000 personnel and more than 180 aircraft from the U.S. Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.

Valiant Shield is a U.S.-only, biennial field training exercise (FTX) with a focus on integration of joint training in a blue-water environment among U.S. forces. This training enables real-world proficiency in sustaining joint forces through detecting, locating, tracking and engaging units at sea, in the air, on land, and in cyberspace in response to a range of mission areas.

The participating forces will exercise a range of capabilities including maritime security operations, anti-submarine and air defense exercises, amphibious operations, and other elements of complex warfighting.

The VS series is aimed at developing a “pre-integrated” joint force built from habitual relationships. This force builds interoperable and complementary cross-domain capabilities and benefits from realistic, shared training enhancing the flexibility to develop new tactics, techniques, and procedures as operational conditions dictate. Such forces will provide the deterrence and stabilizing effects of a force-in-being, ready at the outset of a contingency without delays for buildups or extensive mission rehearsal.

This is the sixth exercise in the Valiant Shield series that began in 2006.