The staff of the US Navy’s Destroyer Squadron has embarked the Royal Navy ship HMS Illustrious to participate in Joint Warrior 14-1 March 31.
Joint Warrior 14-1 is a semiannual, United Kingdom-led training exercise designed to provide NATO and allied forces a unique, multi-warfare environment in which to prepare for global operations.
“When the opportunity to work side by side with the crew of the HMS Illustrious presented itself, we immediately put into motion a plan to get my staff and me onboard to make the most out of exercise Joint Warrior 14-1,” said Capt. Cary Krause, commodore of DESRON 26.
DESRON 26 is next in line to take over as the destroyer squadron attached to the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group. The strike group last hosted Combined Destroyer Squadron 1, the first multinational DESRON to embark on a U.S. warship.
“This exercise will provide us with a real sense of our capabilities to operate in a multinational environment before we embark with the Truman Strike Group” said Capt. Brian Fort, deputy commodore of DESRON 26. “These opportunities do not present themselves very often, and our experience here onboard Illustrious during Joint Warrior will set us up for success for our duties in the future.”
The opportunity to work with the U.S. Navy is also a great experience for the Sailors of the Illustrious. Capt. Mike Utley, commanding officer, Illustrious, is interested in seeing how the two navies will work together tactically.
“We are excited by the opportunity to work with our U.S. counterparts in this joint, multi-threat training exercise,” said Utley. “Together it will allow us to practice our respective tactics, techniques and procedures at the unit and task group level in order to further develop our interoperability. I am particularly looking forward to being able to build on the already outstanding relationship that exists between the U.S. and Royal Navy.”
The Joint Warrior exercise is designed and led by the joint tactical exercise planning staff in the United Kingdom, and is considered an advanced certification course for their ships. The two-week exercise will include scenarios such as small boat attacks, boarding operations, air defense, anti-warfare, and ship maneuverability tasks. More than 30 individual units from 12 different countries, including aviation, surface, and subsurface, are participating.
Press Release, April 7, 2014; Image: US Navy