News: STRIKFORNATO Supports USS George H.W. Bush during final certification
Story by Chief Petty Officer Mary Popejoy
NORFOLK, Va. – Personnel from Headquarters Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO are supporting USS George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group’s Joint Task Force Exercise at Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet Feb 11-21.
In support of JTFEX, representatives from Canada, Denmark, Greece, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, U.K., and U.S., are working together in the scenario-driven tactical exercise that focuses on major combat operations for the GHWB CSG, and serves as the final deployment certification.
“The key mechanism is information exchange from the U.S. domain into the NATO domain, and how we’re able to plan with that information,” said U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Mark Coppess, STRIKFORNATO. “It breeds a level of interoperability that facilitates responsiveness if we do get the call and have to come together to execute the task we’re given.”
While STRIKFORNATO has had routine engagements with U.S. forces in the past, this is the first time that STRIKFORNATO is participating as a component commander in a CSG certification.
“We practice as we play,” said U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Cyrus Jones, operations specialist, STRIKFORNATO. “If we don’t practice now, we won’t be able to get it together later, which is why it’s so important to train early and often.”
With different standard operating procedures, languages, data systems and forms, the NATO partners are learning how each country operates so they can work in concert together.
“This is a great opportunity to get together and see how other nations do business, because we can learn from them and vice versa,” said German Navy Senior Chief Julia Klemme, communication and information systems deploy senior chief, who is stationed in Naples, Italy.
GHWB Strike Group ships and units participating in JTFEX include USS George H. W. Bush, USS Mitscher, USS Gettysburg, USS Truxtun, USS Anzio, the squadrons of Carrier Air Wing 8, as well as Spanish frigate ESPS Almirante Juan de Borbon, French Frigate Primauguet and French Submarine Perle.