The ships will take part in the Joint Warrior 12-2 exercise with allied navies. Joint Warrior is a coalition exercise designed and led by the Joint Tactical Exercise Planning Staff (JTEPS) in the United Kingdom.
Sailors from guided-missile destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG 57), guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64), Helicopter Maritime Strike (HSM) 46 Detachment 2 and U.S. maritime support reconnaissance patrol aircraft from Experimental Evaluation Test Squadron (VX) 1, Patrol Squadron (VP) 9 and VP 10 and fleet replenishment oiler USNS Leroy Grumman (TAO 195) will play a role in the exercise, which is intended to improve interoperability between allied navies and prepare them for possible joint exercises in the real world.
"Allied and coalition operations are the standard when units deploy," said Capt. Nelson Castro, commander of COMDESRON 26. "This exercise provides a venue for our Sailors to practice and learn NATO operating procedures."
Joint Warrior is the United Kingdom's advanced naval certification course and is on par with a U.S. Joint Task Force Exercise. The exercise is a multi-national training event for allies in a maritime environment. It aims to improve interoperability and prepare forces for combined exercises. There are 12 countries participating in Joint Warrior including the U.S. and the United Kingdom. Those countries are Denmark, Netherlands, Estonia, France, Spain, Norway, Brazil, Germany, Canada, Sweden, and Belgium.
"Many of the allied units involved in Joint Warrior exercises will be the same units our ships will see on deployment," said Castro. "This familiarity allows for the development of trust. All nations benefit from open commerce in the maritime common. Our Navy deployed forward supports the movement of goods worldwide, which affects everyone."
Joint Warrior is a two-week exercise that begins in early October. It involves sea, ground and air assets from participating allied and NATO forces and aims to foster a spirit of teamwork between allied nations.