Other training events included daily flight operations with Marine helicopter and AV-8B II Harrier jets, landing craft air cushion and amphibious assault vehicle operations and beach assaults via landing craft air cushion and helicopter.
“As a staff, we integrated in planning and executing a variety of missions,” said McElroy. “However, more interestingly, we integrated with the Marine Expeditionary Unit, utilizing their aircraft for traditional Navy missions like identifying aircraft and surface shipping. Conversely, we are trying to support the Marines with our cruisers and destroyers and submarine.”
In addition to integrating and training with the Marines, the integrated training was also an opportunity for the ships to continue training with each other, improving communications and interoperability that began with the Expeditionary Strike Group sail in October.
“We accomplished several exercises involving anti-submarine warfare, exercises against enemy ships, air defense and offloading Marines,” said McElroy.
Commodore Edward Barfield, commander, Kearsarge Expeditionary Strike Group, felt the integrated training was a successful evolution and was pleased with how well all operations went.