Abraham Lincoln participates in joint exercise

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Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, attached to the Abraham LincolnCarrier Strike Group (ABECSG), and a U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress, partof a Bomber Task Force assigned to the 20th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron,conducted joint operations in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibilityon June 1, 2019.

The operations emphasize Joint Force integration and interoperability within the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).

“It's a pretty awesome feeling to look up and see our jetsflying alongside the Air Force bomber,” said Capt. William "Spig"Reed, commander, CVW- 7. "The training the air wing conducted with theB-52's today is an incredible demonstration of how our military can to rapidlyjoin capabilities to enhance our lethality and our ability to respond to anythreat when called upon."

During the exercises, CVW-7 and the 20th Expeditionary BombSquadron conducted several joint training evolutions designed to improveoperational tactics in several warfare areas. Exercises included air-to-airtraining, flying in formation, and simulated strike operations in defense of anational asset.

“While the Air Force trains different assets together allthe time, including Navy F-18s, we typically don’t have the opportunity tointegrate with the surface fleet,” said Lt. Col. Scott Mills, U.S. Air ForcesCentral Command 609th Air and Space Operations Center air and space strategist.“As we train together, it gives us the chance to examine the bias we each bringto the engagement. We each learn about the other’s domain by searching forareas of dissonance.”

F/A-18E Super Hornets and E-2D Growlers from CVW-7 embarkedon the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) and conducteda self-escort strike with an Air Force B-52H Stratofortress Bomber. With theLincoln aircraft simulating opposing and friendly forces, the training gaveboth sides the chance to interact with elite aircraft.

“The most interesting part about working with any individualaircraft you haven’t had the chance to work with yet is getting to see whatunique capabilities it has,” said Lt. Chase Strickland, a pilot attached to the“Sidewinders” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 86 and CVW-7’s coordination leadof the joint exercise. “It’s fascinating getting to train and work with thestrategic bomber that has updated capabilities, the latest electronics and themost advanced software.”

The B-52H Stratofortress is a long-range, subsonic,jet-powered strategic bomber that has been operated by the U.S. Air Force since1955. The aircraft can carry up to 70,000 pounds of weapons and has a typicalcombat range of more than 8,800 miles. Its anti-ship and mine-layingcapabilities make it a highly-effective asset to assist the Navy in oceansurveillance.

“Each of our respective services influences the other,”Mills said. “Future conflicts will almost never be restricted to a singledomain, and even then the other service can enhance the effectiveness of theothers. Today’s mission represents our ability to project air and sea poweraround the globe. When we act, we do so as one force, no separate services.Exercises like today ensure that can happen anywhere, anytime.”

CVW-7 Super Hornets conducted a joint close air supportexercise with the Bomber. Additionally, MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopters from CVW-7,along with the B-52H, conducted strike coordination and reconnaissance (SCAR)exercises. The exercise provided a rare training opportunity as it joinedmultiple tactical aircraft across DoD lines.

“The training shows effective coordination between two ofthe strongest military components as they come together to execute a singlemission set,” Strickland said. “It illustrates the effective leadership and theteam-of-teams capability within the DoD.”

The demonstration of flexible and adaptable joint operationsshows U.S. military forces are prepared to respond to contingencies and defendU.S. forces and interests in the region.

“This operation allowed us to train interoperability, focuson defense and interdiction, and provide air support to our naval fleetdefense,” said Lt. Gen. Joseph Guastella, Combined Forces Air Component commander.“Our land, air, and sea assets are even stronger and more effective togetherand we’re postured to face any threats toward U.S. forces in the region.”

ABECSG is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operationsin support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in theCentral Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through thewestern Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. With Abraham Lincoln asthe flagship, deployed strike group assets include staffs, ships and aircraftof Carrier Strike Group 12 (CSG 12), Destroyer Squadron 2 (DESRON 2), USS LeyteGulf (CG 55) and Carrier Air Wing 7 (CVW 7).

Source: US Navy


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