Ticonderoga class guided-missile cruiser USS Vicksburg (CG 69) departed Naval Station Mayport Dec. 4 to relieve USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55) later this month as the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 flagship and to support theater security cooperation efforts in Europe.
The crew recently participated in Joint Warrior 14-2, a United Kingdom (UK)-led multinational exercise in UK coastal waters. The training is designed to provide allied forces a multiwarfare environment to prepare for global operations.
Before deploying, Vicksburg also participated in the USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) Amphibious Ready Group (ARG)/24th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s (MEU) Composite Training Unit Exercise, a highly successful missile exercise.
During this exercise, the crew earned their Independent Deployer Certification, which assesses a ship’s capabilities to function at tactical and operational levels.
Commander, Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 Rear Adm. Brad Williamson and staff will embark their new flagship, Vicksburg, to continue support of NATO counter-terrorism Operation Active Endeavour and additional NATO tasking.
Press release, Image: US Navy