Friday, June 26, 2009

Homeland Defense, U.S. Fleet Forces Tested in Exercise Ardent Sentry '09

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist (SW/AW) Sonya Ansarov, U.S. Fleet Forces Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- U.S. Fleet Forces Command's (USFF) Maritime Operations Center (MOC) successfully displayed their ability to support their combatant commander in maritime homeland defense during the combined exercise Ardent Sentry 2009 (AS09) June 18-23.

"Exercise Ardent Sentry '09 allowed U.S. Fleet Forces to showcase our Maritime Operations Center's command, control and coordination capability as part of a global network during simulated crises and threat events to our maritime security," said Rear Adm. Dennis E. FitzPatrick, director of USFF's Joint Operations Division.

The focus of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)/U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM)-led exercise was to test defense support to civil authorities and homeland defense by providing military support and response capabilities to federal, provincial, state and local authorities during crisis scenarios. The scenarios in AS09 included major flooding, terrorist attacks and a pandemic animal disease affecting livestock across five states.

"The secondary function of Ardent Sentry, or what we are using it for, is our [USFF] pre-accreditation of our Maritime Operations Center," said Capt. Mark J. Pawlak, USFF's MOC transition director.

MOCs are used Navy-wide at numbered fleets to effectively synchronize joint maritime operations by streamlining the planning, execution and assessment process.

USFF is the seventh out of eight MOCs to reach preliminary accreditation status