USS STOUT, At sea -- Exercise Joint Warrior 10-2 commenced Oct. 3, when the guided-missile destroyers USS Stout (DDG 55) and USS Bainbridge (DDG 96) departed Faslane, Scotland, and headed toward the Irish Sea.
Joint Warrior, a multinational exercise that takes place biannually, is led by the Joint Tactical Exercise Planning Staff (JTEPS) in the United Kingdom. It encompasses several countries and challenges them in defense tactics and maritime security operations that are applied to a fictional scenario involving a period of geo-political and military tension.
The two-week exercise will feature events involving multiple warfare scenarios designed to improve interoperability between allied navies and prepare participating crews to conduct combined operations during deployment.
“We’re here to certify for our deployment, to exercise with the other ships and to verify that the NATO procedures we use are followed correctly,” said Lt. Mathew Curnen, operations officer aboard Stout.
Joint Warrior is beneficial for each nation because of the opportunity to learn from the tactics and strategies of other navies and the chance to strengthen cooperative relationships with some of the world’s closest allies.
“It provides the United States a working environment that strengthens its military ties with the other navies,” said Lt. Ronald Williams, the assistant operations officer for Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 24 embarked aboard Stout. “It also allows ships that deploy independently an opportunity to certify for those deployments.”
As Stout pulled away from the pier, the ship immediately entered into a mine lead-through scenario in which a minesweeping ship led Stout through a simulated minefield using a series of flashing light signals for coordination.
The mine warfare scenario highlighted a common, yet vital, theme within Joint Warrior, being that it tested the critical communication abilities between the ships and sailors of the various nations.
“The scenario gave us a chance to see if we can efficiently communicate together during a given operation,” said Curnen.
The weeks of preparation leading up to the exercise paid off as communications proceeded as planned and the ships moved on to the next event in the exercise.
The U.S. ships in the exercise, include Stout, Bainbridge, fleet replenishment oiler USNS Leroy Grumman (T-AO 195), who was already underway, and the guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG 94), who got underway Oct. 4, are led by DESRON 24 commodore, Capt. Aaron C. Jacobs.
The coalition forces participating in Joint Warrior 10-2 along with the U.S. include sea, land and air assets from Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
Joint Warrior promotes Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet’s three focus areas, which are conducting safe and effective fleet operations to achieve the mission, providing ready maritime forces for global assignment and teaming with allies and partners in execution of the maritime strategy.