US Navy carrier strike group completes undersea warfare exercise

Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) transits the Pacific Ocean on Jan. 18, 2017. Photo: US Navy

U.S. Navy’s Carl Vinson carrier strike group recently tested its units with an undersea warfare exercise (USWEX) that was completed off the coast of Hawaii, January 14.

The 96-hour USWEX involved aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), and Arleigh-Burke class-guided missile destroyers USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) and USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112).

“USWEX provided Carl Vinson and the rest of our strike group the opportunity to participate in a robust, relevant training against an extremely capable adversary,” said Cmdr. John Schiaffino, Carl Vinson operations officer. “Due to the mission demands placed on our submarine fleet, we don’t often have the chance to train against multiple live subs simultaneously, but USWEX offered a capstone training event where we could practice our tactics, techniques and procedures.”

USWEX is an advanced anti-submarine warfare exercise conducted by CSGs and expeditionary strike groups (ESG) while in transit from the west coast of the United States to the western Pacific Ocean.

“The undersea warfare exercise is an important training event to ensure our team can seamlessly integrate with all the assets of the carrier strike group,” said Cmdr. Robert A. Heely Jr., Michael Murphy commanding officer. “Understanding the undersea environment and managing resources within this mission area are challenging. This combat team performed very well and stands ready to operate within the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.”

The overall purpose of USWEX was for the Carl Vinson strike group to hone and enhance the interoperability of the strike group to protect the carrier from sub-surface warfare threats while engaged in numerous warfare tasks. A few different warfare tasks the CSG is responsible for include air warfare, anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare and ballistic missile defense.

The Carl Vinson Strike Group is on a regularly scheduled Western Pacific deployment as part of the U.S. Pacific Fleet-led initiative to extend the command and control functions of U.S. 3rd Fleet.

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