Sailors and naval aviators from the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) Carrier Strike Group (CSG 12) and those of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) Carrier Strike Group (CSG 2) trained on high-value unit defense, ballistic missile defense, replenishments-at-sea, cross-deck flight operations, and maritime security operations. More than 11,000 U.S personnel participated in the joint exercises, which were conducted over the course of three days.
They were joined by USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) – the U.S. Sixth Fleet Command and Control ship – and the Italian Navy frigates ITS Virginio Fasan (F 591) and ITS Carlo Margottini (F 592).
“The seamless integration of naval and air commands between us and our partners helps build a theater-wide common tactical picture to make us a more ready and postured force,” said Rear Adm. Marc Miguez, Commander of CSG 2. “Our focus on teamwork and dual-carrier operations provide us the ability to train like we fight.”
The Italian ships Fasan and Margottini joined the two carrier strike groups to exercise NATO alliance integration. Fasan also participated in Composite Unit Training Exercise with the Eisenhower strike group earlier this year.
The ships of the Gerald R. Ford strike group have participated in multiple operations and exercises throughout the Sixth Fleet area of responsibility, including Sage Wolverine, Baltic Operations 2023, exercise Air Defender 2023, and NATO enhanced vigilance activity Neptune Strike, as well as operations with 17 countries in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Africa/U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations.