Eisenhower carrier strike group completes SWATT with Dutch frigate

US Navy ships from the carrier strike group assembled around aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) have welcomed a Dutch frigate into their formation as they completed a major pre-deployment exercise.

USS San Jacinto (CG 56), HMNLS De Ruyter (F 804), USS Stout (DDG 55), USS James E. Williams (DDG 95), and USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) move in a formation scheme for live fire exercises during SWATT. Photo: US Navy

De Zeven Provinciën-class frigate HNLMS De Ruyter (FFG-804) worked with Carrier Strike Group 10 (CSG-10) vessels to complete what was the first Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training (SWATT) exercise for both sides on September 21.

SWATT is the US Navy surface force’s premier advanced tactical training exercise which precedes a carrier strike group’s final pre-deployment exercise, the COMPTUEX.

US Navy ships that took part in this SWATT include carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, cruisers USS San Jacinto, USS Vella Gulf, destroyers USS Stout, USS McFaul, USS Truxton, USS James E. Williams, USS Roosevelt, and Los Angeles-class submarine USS Newport News (SSN-750).

“SWATT provides a critical path for warfare commanders to develop the combat capability needed by our Numbered Fleet Commanders to compete effectively in an era of Great Power Competition,” said Rear Adm. Paul J. Schlise, commander, CSG-10. “It is a team-based approach to what all parts of the CSG are designed to do – fight and win at sea.”

According to DESRON 26’s Commodore, SWATT provides focused training to support naval sea control with an eye on maritime interoperability and increased lethality across the surface fleet.

“For several weeks, we leveraged SWATT’s training scenarios to increase combat capability, lethality and interoperability of our destroyers,” said Capt. William Shafley, Commodore, DESRON 26. “SWATT provides us live-scenarios to instill competence and confidence of the combat watch standers and weapon systems of our warships, so that we can be ready to fight tonight if necessary.”

During SWATT, the major training events included conducting integrated air and missile defense, anti-submarine warfare / surface warfare, information warfare, ship maneuvering and live-fire events designed to tactically prepare surface forces for maritime warfare missions.

More than 10 SWATT exercises have been completed by CSG cruiser-destroyers and amphibious ready group warships since 2016.

“The SWATT exercises have been incredibility beneficial in further developing our bridge and combat watch teams,” said Lt. j.g. Andrew S. Cornick, USS James E. Williams’ (DDG 95) navigator. “It has been inspiring watching our teams integrate and apply the tactics learned during these exercises, maximizing the combat readiness of our crew. The training provided to us from SMWDC has only further enhanced our ability to answer our nation’s call, no matter the mission.”