Valiant Shield draws 18,000 troops
U.S. PACIFIC FLEET PAO | .
published: September 13, 2016
PEARL HARBOR – Forces from the U.S. Pacific Command are currently participating in Exercise Valiant Shield, which kicked off on Guam and around the Marianas Island Range Complex on Sept. 12 and run through Sept. 23.
Participants include USS Ronald Reagan, nine surface ships, an amphibious readiness group – to include three amphibious vessels, an estimated 18,000 personnel and more than 180 aircraft from the U.S. Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.
Valiant Shield is a U.S.-only, biennial field training exercise with a focus on integration of joint training in a blue-water environment among U.S. forces. This training enables real-world proficiency in sustaining joint forces through detecting, locating, tracking and engaging units at sea, in the air, on land, and in cyberspace in response to a range of mission areas.
The participating forces are exercising a wide range of capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of joint forces. The range of capabilities include maritime security operations, anti-submarine and air defense exercises, amphibious operations, and other elements of complex warfighting.
The lessons learned from exercises like VS16 will assist U.S. forces in continuing to develop regional and global power projection capabilities that provide a full range of options to succeed in defense of its interests and those of its allies and partners around the world.
The VS series is aimed at developing a “pre-integrated” joint force built from habitual relationships. This force builds interoperable and complementary cross-domain capabilities and benefits from realistic, shared training enhancing the flexibility to develop new tactics, techniques, and procedures as operational conditions dictate.
Such forces will provide the deterrence and stabilizing effects of a force-in-being, ready at the outset of a contingency without delays for buildups or extensive mission rehearsal.
This is the sixth exercise in the Valiant Shield series that began in 2006.
Seabees, Marines team up
Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11, Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242, Marine Wing Support Squadron 171, Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12, Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152, Combat Logistics Company 36 and other elements of Marine Aircraft Group 12 assigned to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, journeyed to Anderson Air Force Base, Guam, to participate in Exercise Valiant Shield.
As part of a biennial field training exercise, Valiant Shield brings together service members from across the U.S. Pacific Command to employ a wide range of capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of American joint forces.
“The biggest thing is the interoperability,” said Marine Corps Col. Daniel Shipley, MAG-12 commanding officer. “We train within our own services, but now is the opportunity to train with other branches combined . . . so it’s really a chance to practice our interoperability, tactics, techniques and procedures to prove our ability to do that together.”
The MAG-12 Ready Group will work alongside members of the Army, Navy and Air Force in order to develop skills that enhance maritime interdiction, defensive counter-air operations, personnel recovery, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, anti-submarine warfare, and command and control.
“We will execute missions that represent the span of the aviation combat element and integrate with the joint forces for aviation operations,” said Marine Corps Lt. Col. William Millett, MAG-12 operations officer. “We will have joint vignettes, executing very large and complex missions. At the squadron level, it’s an exercise in integration where we will perform standard missions and then apply those to larger aircraft formations, multiple targets, and multiple waves of fighters managing fuel and assets over time.”
– Sgt. Jessica Quezada, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni