News Stories
Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic

Advanced Warfare Training Brings Carrier Strike Group Together

by Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Mark Schultz
23 June 2021

Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 8 conducts a simulated strait transit exercise in the Atlantic Ocean during Tailored Ship's Training Availability (TSTA) and Final Evaluation Period (FEP).
210617-N-MQ631-0425 ATLANTIC OCEAN (June 17, 2021) Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 8 conducts a simulated strait transit exercise in the Atlantic Ocean during Tailored Ship's Training Availability (TSTA) and Final Evaluation Period (FEP). Harry S. Truman, with embarked Carrier Air Wing 1, is underway conducting TSTA and FEP to assess their ability to conduct combat missions, support functions and survive complex casualty control situations in preparation for full integration into a carrier strike group. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Maxwell Higgins)
Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 8 conducts a simulated strait transit exercise in the Atlantic Ocean during Tailored Ship's Training Availability (TSTA) and Final Evaluation Period (FEP).
21****-N-MQ631-00**
210617-N-MQ631-0425 ATLANTIC OCEAN (June 17, 2021) Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 8 conducts a simulated strait transit exercise in the Atlantic Ocean during Tailored Ship's Training Availability (TSTA) and Final Evaluation Period (FEP). Harry S. Truman, with embarked Carrier Air Wing 1, is underway conducting TSTA and FEP to assess their ability to conduct combat missions, support functions and survive complex casualty control situations in preparation for full integration into a carrier strike group. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Maxwell Higgins)
Photo By: MC3 Maxwell Higgins
VIRIN: 210617-N-MQ631-0425


The ships and aircraft of Carrier Strike Group (8), including the strike group’s flag ship, the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), completed  Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training exercise June 23.

SWATT provides multi-platform, multi-warfare area training at sea that integrates the carrier strike group’s units and builds combat capability, lethality and interoperability.

“SWATT provides some of the most advanced training in the fleet,” said Lt. Samuel Ross, an anti-submarine/surface warfare tactics instructor assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 28, a component of Carrier Strike Group 8.  “During this exercise, operators are actually pushing the buttons and launching missiles, security teams are pulling triggers and shooting their .50 cals and 240Bs, and pilots and aircrewmen are providing air support.  And all of that is directed at physical exercise targets.”

During the three-week exercise, seven units participated in the “live-fire with a purpose” missile exercise and other live-fire events. 

“The ships also conducted several (maneuvering exercises) and a replenishment-at-sea, which is tactically significant, because this is a skill that allows us to operate globally,” said Ross.

According to the DESRON 28 senior enlisted leader, all of these efforts were made possible by the hard work of Sailors aboard each of the strike group’s units.

“The work our Sailors do is incredible,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer Christopher Garcia, of Phoenix, Arizona. “They’re working to get their ships’ systems up, loaded, and OPTESTED [operationally tested] well in advance of the actual evolutions.  Without them, these ships would never leave port, these aircraft would never get off the ground, and the things our destroyers put on target would never go boom! They are truly our legs to stand on.”

For an aircraft carrier, providing support for multiple missions is critical to the strike group’s success.

“Submarines are sneaky and one of the biggest threats to the strike group,” said Lt. George Evans, a weapons and tactics instructor with the “Proud Warriors” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 72, from Dacula, Georgia.  “As the only organic, aerial, antisubmarine-warfare platform, we are an important aspect to disrupting the submarine commanders’ intentions.  This exercise is the first time we’re getting the band back together, and it allows us to establish connections with the DESRON staff and ships and build those connections for when we go out the door on deployment.”

The strike group’s ships tested and operated numerous sensors and weapons systems. “Our sensors have to be up, our ship’s self-defense systems and weapons systems have to be operating,” said Lt. j.g. John Rooney, Truman’s fire control officer and a native of Houston, Texas.  “The whole purpose of SWATT is to train our warfighters in the most realistic conditions possible to build lethality and tactical proficiency.”

"The value of the training SWATT provides is immeasurable,” said Rear Adm. Ryan Scholl, the strike group commander.  “SWATT has progressed the ships' unit level performance in combat scenarios and moved us further down the field of integrated lethality as a strike group.  I am very impressed by the professionalism and constant improvement witnessed in each of our Sailors' resilient performances these past few weeks, and I look forward to seeing them thrive as we operate in more complex and integrated environments."

SWATT is designed to provide crews and staffs the training experience in the actual roles they will fill during deployment in similar environments and scenarios to those which they may encounter.

“This type of training is very effective for all watchstanders,” said Ross, a Riverside, Illinois, native.  “We take the opportunity to crawl, walk, and run during this exercise, by conducting individual events focused on individual warfare areas that increase in complexity throughout the course of the exercise, culminating in a  scenario that realistically stresses the ships and watchstanders in all the domains we fight.  Everyone from the watchstanders to watch teams becomes familiar with how to operate in multi-ship, multi-warfare area environments.  This method of training builds battle minded crews.”

Participating in SWATT with Harry S. Truman are Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers USS Gonzales (DDG-66), USS Gravely (DDG-107), USS Bainbridge (DDG-96), USS Jason Dunham (DDG-109), USS Cole (DDG-67) and Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG-56). Each ship was provided the opportunity to exercise its equipment, weapons systems, watchstanders and internal processes.

As a cruiser, USS San Jacinto’s primary mission is air defense, tasked with protecting the aircraft carrier.

“It is responsible for planning and directing anti-air weapons and pre-planned responses in the air domain,” said Ross.

The destroyers that make up DESRON 28 track and engage submarines, surface ships and aircraft all while “refining their tactics, techniques and procedures in each of those domains,” Ross stated.

Throughout the course of the exercise, Truman conducted frequent flight operations, supporting numerous strike group missions, from tactical to logistic.

“Truman is providing constant air support,” said Ross.  “CODs are bringing in parts and subject matter experts that are then helo’d out to the other ships.  Truman is the hub for supplies and people movements, just like it would be out on deployment.”

SWATT is part of a larger integrated  training evolution called Group Sail (GRUSAIL) that incorporates multiple overlapping exercises.  GRUSAIL commences the initial training for the entire strike group as an integrated unit during the basic phase of the Optimized Fleet Response Plan in preparation for future operations.

For more news from Truman, visit www.airlant.usff.navy.mil/cvn75/,  www.facebook.com/cvn75, or www.twitter.com/ussharrystruman


Terms:

SURFLANT
 
Navy.mil  |  Navy.com  |  Navy FOIA  |  DoD Accessibility/Section 508  |  No Fear Act  |  Open Government  |  Plain Writing Act 
USA.gov  |  Veterans Crisis Line  |  DoD Safe Helpline  |  Navy SAPR  |  NCIS Tips  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Webmaster
 
Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic  |  1562 Mitscher Ave., Suite 300  |   Norfolk, Virginia 23551-2427
Official U.S. Navy Website