Sunday, March 06, 2016

Wasp Completes FST-GC Exercise

By Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Nathan Wilkes, USS Wasp Media Department

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The Wasp Amphibious Readiness Group (ARG) completed Group Commander Fleet Synthetic Training (FST-GC), March 3, passing one of the first graded evolutions in the ARG's workup cycle for its 2016 summer deployment.
 FST-GC is a two week combined exercise that includes operational and tactical planning. The evolution includes one week of classroom and one week of simulated operations conducted on respective ships in port.

 "FST-GC allows us to integrate, operate, and innovate as an Amphibious Readiness Group in order to improve professional confidence and teamwork," said Captain Byron Ogden, deputy commodore of Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 6. "The completion of the exercise marks another successful milestone in the preparation for our upcoming deployment."

 The Wasp ARG is comprised of PHIBRON 6, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1), amphibious dock-landing ship USS Whidbey Island (LSD-41) and amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD-17).

 The training provides Wasp and its partners with an in-depth, synthetic training environment simulating real life scenarios. This allows the ARG to focus on the planning and execution of tactical operations. The simulations build into more challenging requirements, demanding that ships and their crews communicate and work together in order to succeed.

 Leading the exercise was Tactical Training Group Atlantic (TTGL), whose mission is to provide advanced tactical training, to improve proficiency in warfighting and joint operations. Computer-generated environmental conditions, political unrest and foreign military provocations tested the warfare commanders and operators' decision making process and pre-planned responses during FST-GC.

 "The training thus far has been both challenging and extremely valuable for not just Wasp but the ARG as a unit," said Ogden. "I believe that the Sailors and Marines aboard have gained a lot of knowledge, value and experience from this training and that we will continue to be successful in our upcoming evolutions."

 The next exercise for the Wasp ARG is PHIBRON-MEU Integrated Training (PMINT), a critical pre-deployment certification milestone, in which Sailors and Marines will learn to live and work together in preparation for the scheduled deployment in summer 2016.