The US Navy’s Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group has completed the fleet synthetic training – group commander (FST-GC) exercise on January 19, clearing another hurdle before starting the final pre-deployment exercise – Comptuex.
In addition to FST-GC, Harry S. Truman sailors completed the force protection exercise (FPEX) while pier-side, Jan. 18.
FST-GC is the largest exercise of its kind ever run by Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 4-the training group responsible for all east coast based carrier strike groups. More than 30 surface combatants from multiple carrier strike groups, including coalition ships from France and the United Kingdoms, participated in the event.
The two-week evolution is designed to test the strike group information processing, communication flow, and decision-making in a robust and realistic threat environment, involving all services and multiple coalition countries.
“[FST-GC] is meant to get [Truman] ready to go to sea,” said Capt. Dan Brune, commanding officer, Tactical Training Group, Atlantic. “It’s to bring all the parts of the strike group to bear, to really integrate the force and to be able to operate at the high end that we need them to when they go on deployment. We want to make it harder for [the strike group] now than what they would ever see on deployment…that way if it happens [Truman] will think ‘Got it. We can handle it.'”
Along with multi-mission operations, the focus of FST-GC is to work as a team and show the strike group’s capabilities leading up to its deployment.
Truman is currently moored at Naval Station Norfolk preparing for the ship’s Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX). Once COMPTUEX is completed, the Harry S. Truman CSG is set to deploy together with frigates from Norway and Germany as part of the group.
German air defense frigate FGS Hessen is already underway en route to the US coast. Hessen made a pit stop in Portugal on January 22 before starting the Atlantic Ocean transit.