ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (Ike CSG) completed the first sustainment exercise (SUSTEX) under the Navy's Optimized Fleet Response Plan (OFRP), April 11.
Prior to OFRP, carrier strike groups disaggregated following deployment and did not reintegrate until the work up cycle for the next deployment. Under OFRP, the carrier strike group remains intact throughout the integrated and sustainment phases.
The sustainment phase includes pre-deployment, deployment and post-deployment timelines, ensuring forces remain ready to deploy and surge if necessary. This maximizes the Navy's forward presence with available ship capacity.
Ike and its carrier strike group are underway participating in the sustainment exercise designed to maintain deployment readiness as part of the Navy's OFRP.
"OFRP balances forward presence requirements with maintenance and operational tempo in a way that ensures forces are ready to deploy, or in our case surge forward, if needed, with the right capabilities," said Rear Adm. Jim Malloy, commander of Ike CSG. "By having the CSG maintained at peak material readiness while continuing to train and operate together, we remain ready."
The two-week, live event driven exercise consisted of staffs, air wing and ships that deployed together, including the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3, CSG-10, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26, guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87), and guided-missile cruisers USS San Jacinto (CG 56) and USS Monterey (CG 61).
SUSTEX is designed to reverify, test and train the carrier strike group's ability to perform and effectively respond as an integrated team during simulated scenarios the group may encounter while deployed or during high-end warfare.
CSG-10 worked in conjunction with CSG-4 to ensure the most realistic training evolutions including simulated opposing forces in anti-air warfare, anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, strike warfare, irregular warfare, and maritime interdiction scenarios.
The lessons learned and best practices will be incorporated into future CSG SUSTEX.
"Our successful SUSTEX has set the initial framework for other carrier strike groups to adopt and modify to their own post-deployment training plan," Malloy said.
At the conclusion of the exercise, Malloy said, "The strike group's outstanding performance in this complex and challenging exercise speaks volumes about the skill and dedication of the officers and Sailors in our ships and squadrons, as they rapidly integrated for the first time in three months and quickly regained fighting form, honing warfighting readiness and maintaining the edge that made our deployment so successful."
Ike and its carrier strike group are underway participating in the sustainment exercise designed to maintain deployment readiness as part of the Navy's Optimized Fleet Response Plan.