Thursday, November 28, 2013

Carrier Strike Group 9 Completes IDCERTEX

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Bradley J. Gee, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West
PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9 completed an independent deployer certification exercise (IDCERTEX) in the U.S. Third Fleet Area of Operations (AOR), Nov. 18.

The flagship of CSG 9, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), led the intermediate and advanced training across multiple warfare areas with seven San Diego based ships that included: Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers USS Wayne E. Mayer (DDG 108), USS Howard (DDG 83), USS Pickney (DDG 91), USS Kidd (DDG 100) and USS Momsen (DDG 92), with Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) and Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Gary (FFG 7).

"During our nine days of IDCERTEX, we employ some of our tactical knowledge and get in the rhythm of working with other ships, aircraft and submarines in several warfare areas," said Master Chief Donald Charbonneau, command master chief of Wayne E. Meyer. "Our jobs as destroyers are to protect the aircraft carrier."

IDCERTEX begins with unit-level training specific to the ship that requires training in shipboard firefighting, man overboard drills, visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS), and other ship specific training.

"The goal of this IDCERTEX was to provide a robust certification exercise for multiple independent deployers in an operational carrier strike group setting," said Capt. Stan Chien, CSG 9 operations officer. "Anytime you operate in a multi-ship, multi-staff environment, you add complexity and depth to an operation."

The integrated phase involves training between multiple ships and aircraft and consists of flight operations, submarine tracking, strait transit formations, replenishment-at-sea and other required mission evolutions.

"With the primary focus being certification of the cruisers and destroyers, each individual ship was challenged in multiple simultaneous warfare areas and they performed well," said Chien. "Beyond that, the ships effectively interacted with strike group warfare commanders, the carrier strike group staff and in some areas, simulated fleet staffs through reporting and submission of products. This IDCERTEX was successful on multiple levels."

USS Howard is scheduled to depart Naval Base San Diego in December on an independent deployment to the Western Pacific Ocean.

U.S. Third Fleet leads naval forces in the Eastern Pacific from the West Coast of North America to the international date line and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.