Operational planners for Carrier Strike Group Three (CSG3) attended a four-day symposium to reinforce integration between CSG3 component commands at the Trident Training Facility on Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor Sept. 23-28.
More than 40 officers and chiefs attended the symposium, held as the primary focus of CSG3 shifts from maintenance to operational readiness. The strike group’s flagship, Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), is nearing the conclusion of a 16-month Docking Planned Incremental Availability (DPIA).
“When a flagship goes through a long DPIA and can’t get underway, like what Stennis is emerging from, it is easy for the warfare commanders to focus on their piece of the strike group and forget how to work together smoothly,” said CSG3 Training and Readiness Officer, Cmdr. Timothy Reidy. “It’s easy for supporting staffs to lose the understanding and interpersonal relationships that allow CSG3 to pull together on all levels to quickly and efficiently work together.”
By coming together before the formal integrated portion of the Fleet Readiness Training Plan, the strike group has the opportunity to exercise its updated and revised plans. Planners work together in real time through a tabletop war game scenario with a “train like we fight” mentality. This allows warfare commanders and their staffs to remain familiar with the planning process and the responsibilities each has to ensure CSG3 operates effectively. It also builds habitual relationships.
“We’re doing this now so that it’s old hat by the time we get to deployment,” said Reidy.
Press Release, September 30, 2014; Image: US Navy