US Navy aircraft carrier completes LFWAP exercise

The US Navy’s Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) completed a Live Fire With A Purpose (LFWAP) exercise on December 6.

Two Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Warfare Tactics Instructors (WTI) led teams aboard Abraham Lincoln through LFWAP. They’ve spent the last month working closely with Combat Systems Department to plan a simulated threat, train them on response tactics and execute a safe live fire.

“The most challenging aspect of these exercises is getting the ship’s mindset to shift from basic unit-level operations to integrated, advanced tactical operations,” Lt. Cmdr Tim Barry, an IAMD WTI instructor aboard Abraham Lincoln, explained.

LFWAP is a reinvigorated missile exercise program conducted by the Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC), designed to increase the proficiency of the Combat Direction Center watch team by allowing them to tactically react to a simulated real-world threat.

According to the US Navy, LFWAP is an important evolution that departs from scripted events to focus more on scenario-driven events. Watch teams have the opportunity to use their pre-planned responses and the commanding officer’s orders to defend the ship from dangers that mirror potential threats on deployment.

“This isn’t a pass or fail event; it’s a validation — a means for Sailors to develop confidence prior to deployment,” Lt. Lisa Malone, the IAMD WTI execution lead from SMWDC, said.

LFWAP allowed Abraham Lincoln to react to a sea-skimming drone in real time.

After detecting the target using radar, Combat Systems used the ship’s Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) to engage it.

“This training has really brought us all together and made us work more cohesively; we feel like a real unit now,” Fire Controlman 2nd Class Matthew Miller, who fired the RAM that brought down the drone, said.

“We’ve worked hard this last month and had this scenario down-pat, and to see that drone finally go up in an explosion was the perfect payoff,” he added.

The Abraham Lincoln CSG is comprised of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, Destroyer Squadron (CDS) 2, associated guided-missile destroyers, flagship Abraham Lincoln, and the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55).

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