ARABIAN SEA, –
U.S. Air Forces Central Command F-15E Strike Eagles, attached to the 336th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, participated in an Air Operations in Maritime Surface Warfare integration exercise with the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), and a P-3 Orion, in the Arabian Gulf, July 24, 2019.
“This unit-level exercise reinforced integration of U.S. Air Force assets in support of U.S. Navy surface combatants,” said Lt. Cmdr. Adrian Willing, 609th Air Operations Center Master Air Attack Plan Cell planner. “This training reinforces the very real-world missions they are already conducting.”
The F-15Es are based out of Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, while the USS Gonzalez is assigned to Commander Task Force-55, and the P-3C Orion is assigned to the CTF-57 and based out of Bahrain.
“The P-3C provides maritime domain awareness, can also function as a maritime air controller with long loiter times, or employ its own weapons as required,” Willing said. “The USS Gonzalez is operating in the Arabian Gulf to guarantee international freedom of navigation.”
While the scenarios were simulated, the team practiced real world tactics, techniques, and procedures to execute joint interoperability in maritime air control and dynamic targeting.
“By exercising the full operational process, we can identify and correct any issues that would slow or hinder rapid combat capability and seamless integration,” said Lt. Col. Benjamin Davidson, AFCENT Forces Division chief. “This builds a closer relationship between NAVCENT and AFCENT that we can utilize when called upon to execute real-world operations. The improved lines of joint communication and coordination will further facilitate seamless execution during combat operations.”
The demonstration of flexible and adaptable joint operations shows U.S. military forces are even stronger together and prepared to respond to contingencies and defend the U.S. forces and interests in the region.
“This exercise demonstrated our ability to conduct operations in multiple domains simultaneously,” Davidson said. “When integrated properly, the combined strength of these assets is greater than their sum. We multiply the effects by creating increasingly complex challenges to the malign activities of our adversaries.