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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 197-02
April 22, 2002

13,000 U.S., ALLIED FORCES LAUNCH JOINT TASK FORCE EXERCISE

More than 13,000 U.S. and allied military servicemembers will participate in Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) 02-2, April 28-May 5, 2002. Vice Adm. Cutler Dawson, commander, U.S. Second Fleet will conduct the exercise.

JTFEX 02-2 will present U.S. and multinational forces with realistic and dynamic exercise threats that closely replicate the operational challenges military forces encounter around the world. It is designed to prepare U.S. forces for joint and combined operations while providing the opportunity to certify the U.S. Navy carrier battle group for deployment. Participating forces will train using equipment and systems that incorporate the latest advances in technology, and which support the full range of capabilities that may be required in various geographic areas.

"This exercise provides the battle group with valuable experience in joint operations, while giving them an opportunity to refine key tactical skills," said Dawson. "It will also represent a demanding test of their capabilities, completing the intensive training and evaluation process that leads to deployment certification," he added.

JTFEX 02-2 will take place in the waters off Virginia and North Carolina.

Participating U.S. forces include the ships and squadrons of the USS George Washington Carrier Battle Group, including Cruiser Destroyer Group Two, Carrier Air Wing Seventeen and Destroyer Squadron Two Six. Also participating are Mine Countermeasures Squadron Two, Maritime Patrol Squadrons Sixteen and Twenty-Six, and U.S. Air Force strike and refueling aircraft, including F-15E fighters from the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, NC, and KC-135'S from the 22d Air Refueling Wing, McConnell AFB, Kan.