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    NCAGS Exercise Promotes Global Partnerships, Maritime Security

    NCAGS Exercise Promotes Global Partnerships, Maritime Security

    Photo By Lt.j.g. Nicholas Scott | GREAT LAKES, Ill. (June 12, 2021) — Sailors assigned to U.S. Fleet Forces Naval...... read more read more



    Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Nicholas Scott 

    NR NPASE Midwest

    GREAT LAKES, Ill. (June 12, 2021) – U.S. Fleet Forces Naval Cooperation and Guidance for Shipping-Chicago, conducted a training exercise aboard Naval Station Great Lakes, June 11-13, 2021.

    This small-scale exercise, conducted quarterly, trains U.S. Navy Reserve Sailors on policy, procedures and actions needed to work cohesively as they prepare for NCAGS’ larger multinational exercise, International Maritime Exercise (IMX), and regular mobilization to Manama, Bahrain.

    The main objective of NCAGS, according to Lt. Cmdr. Kyle Strozewski, NCAGS-Chicago operations officer, is to communicate global resolve to maintain freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce, deter threats to freedom of navigation, and build interoperability and familiarity with maritime security partners.

    “This [exercise] prepares us for the day-to-day operations and scenarios that could happen, such as something like a [medical evacuation],” said Strozewski. “We also provide information on what ships take what routes to the commander in the region. They are able to make informed decisions based on that information.”
    What makes NCAGS unique is that the unit is comprised entirely of Reserve Sailors. Reserve Sailors regularly rotate between Bahrain and their home-of-record to keep the 5th Fleet component staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

    “I think it makes the most sense to use Reservists,” said Chief Quartermaster Phillip Rapp, assigned to NCAGS-Chicago. “Many in the Merchant Marine community are also Navy Reserve officers, usually [strategic sealift officers].”

    Rapp said Navy Reservists attached to NCAGS can easily speak to both merchant and military Sailors because they walk in both worlds and are able to translate ideas to both sides.

    “There are so many more commercial than there are military ships,” said Rapp. “Communication between them is our top priority.”

    The NCAGS watch is continuously manned and maintained. Within the first 96 hours prior to the arrival of a U.S. vessel in the area of responsibility, the watch will notify the vessel and transmit a welcome aboard email.

    According to Cmdr. Phil Casalegno, commanding officer of NCAGS-Chicago, the last IMX evolution, conducted in 2019, cemented global partnerships and maritime security. Now, as the world begins to open back up from the COVID-19 pandemic, NCAGS-Chicago, wants to recapture that energy.

    “For the sake of economic security, it is absolutely critical for the United States, and our allies, that international maritime commerce continues to flow freely,” said Casalegno. “Collaboration with coalition partners and stakeholders is imperative to protect the freedom of navigation in this critical part of the world. This is the mission of NCAGS.”

    Casalegno said junior Sailors especially need the training from this exercise to prepare them for any real-world scenarios.

    “I’ve learned so much about commercial shipping,” said Haskin. “Before my time in the unit, I thought the Navy was just concerned with Navy ships. This exercise taught me so much. It keeps us where we need to be. I look forward going to Bahrain and doing this in real life.”

    NCAGS-Chicago used this exercise to prepare for the next iteration of the biennial, multinational IMX to be held later this year. IMX 2019 included 55 partner nations and seven international organizations.

    NCAGS–Chicago trains and equips U.S. Navy Reserve Sailors to assist operational commanders in managing risk by providing situational awareness and near real-time information on the commercial shipping picture, to help ensure the safe passage of merchant shipping and the safety of naval vessels through areas of operation around the world.

    For more information about NCAGS-Chicago check out the NCAGS Facebook page at




    Date Taken: 06.12.2021
    Date Posted: 07.13.2021 21:47
    Story ID: 400837
    Location: GREAT LAKES, IL, US

    Web Views: 375
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