By Ensign Zachary Keating
Navy Public Affairs Support Element East
Six ships, led by Commander, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26, departed the U.S. for Scotland, March 14, to participate in Joint Warrior 14-2, 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.
Sailors aboard guided-missile frigate USS Samuel B Roberts (FFG 58), guided-missile cruisers USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) guided-missile destroyers USS James E. Williams (DDG 95), USS Cole (DDG 67), USS Ross (DDG 71), and fleet replenishment oiler USNS Kanawa (T-AO 196) will participate in the exercise, which is intended to improve interoperability between allied navies in an operationally challenging environment.
"Joint Warrior provides our Sailors with an opportunity to work with our coalition partners in a unique tactical environment," said Capt. Cary Krause, commander, DESRON 26. "This exercise will enhance our ability to operate with our allied navies, and will prepare our participating crews to conduct combined operations during deployment."
The U.S. Navy did not participate in Joint Warrior in 2013 due to budgetary constraints. However, with a new budget in place, the Department of Defense approved the Navy's participation in Joint Warrior 14-1 because this exercise also serves as a pre-deployment certification event for the participating U.S. ships.
"The entire spectrum of planned activities is a chance for our ships to train and hone their skills before their upcoming deployments," said Krause. "We are thankful for this opportunity and excited to return to Scotland to participate in this exercise with our allies."
Joint Warrior will begin in late March and will last approximately two weeks. It will involve air, sea and ground assets from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, New Zealand, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
Exercise scenarios include small boat attacks, boarding operations, air defense, anti-submarine warfare, and ship maneuverability tasks. More than 30 individual units, including aviation, surface, and subsurface, are participating and playing a distinct role.