Tuesday, October 28, 2008

U.S Navy Ships Team with Allied Partners During Joint Warrior

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joseph R. Wax, Destroyer Squadron 24 Public Affairs

HMS ARK ROYAL, At sea (NNS) -- Ships led by the commander of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 24 learned a little more about interoperability while participating in the Joint Warrior Course, a multinational exercise held off the coast of Scotland, in October.

The exercise allows NATO and coalition navies to explore complex, real-world scenarios while operating in a multi-platform environment.

For U.S. and British ships involved in the exercise, Joint Warrior was a unique opportunity to work together with allied partners while providing each other with key services and logistical support.

"If we take anything away from this exercise it is that we are stronger by working together and leveraging the strengths each one of us has," said Lt. Cmdr. Gil Ayan, the DESRON 24 material officer. "One of the great ways to create a bond is at the personal level."

One specific example of how the ships teamed together involved a Sailor from the guided-missile frigate USS Doyle (FFG 39).

Fireman Ben Stamps, a member of Doyle's engineering department, was transported by helicopter to HMS Ark Royal (RO7) to undergo dental work that his ship couldn't perform while at sea.

"I had a lot of swelling and sharp aching pain," said Stamps. "Ark Royal was out operating with us, and they volunteered to help me out."

Stamps said his situation shows how the two navies operate as one team while working in a joint environment.

"They (Royal Navy) have taken me in as one of their own and set me up with everything I needed," said Stamps. "They did an excellent job."

In addition to supporting each other with services, the two navies worked together to solve many logistical issues. Everything from parts to people were transferred between the U.S. and Royal Navy ships to accomplish the mission.

The fleet replenishment oiler USNS Leroy Grumman (T-AO 195), which accompanied the other ships assigned to DESRON 24 to Scotland for Joint Warrior, spent the entire exercise conducting underway replenishments with ships of both navies, showcasing the interoperability between allied maritime forces.

"Complex and robust units -- air, surface and under-sea forces -- were operating together during Joint Warrior," said Ayan. "It speaks to how well our coalition nations work together. We have more things in common than things that are different. If we deploy together as a multinational force in the future, we'll be ready because of exercises like this."

Joint Warrior is a multinational exercise designed and run by the United Kingdom's Joint Tactical Exercise Planning Staff (JTEPS). Taking part in Joint Warrior with DESRON 24 were USNS Leroy Grumman (T-AO 195); the guided-missile frigates USS Doyle (FFG 39), USS Hawes (FFG 53) and USS Klakring (FFG 42); and the guided-missile destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG 57).