Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX)
Fleet exercise (FLEETEX)/Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) is a CINC directed exercise designed to build upon previous demonstrated Battle Group (BG) competencies across all warfare areas. JTFEX consists of a nominal 21 days underway, usually conducted six to eight weeks prior to deployment.
The deploying BG commander is assigned TACON of all warfare areas, and falls under the OPCON of the numbered fleet commander, who operates as the Joint Task Force (JTF) commander.
In 1994 USACOM combined U.S. Navy and Marine Corps readiness exercises to form a "Joint" package for biannual deployments to the Mediterranean area of operations. "Joint Task Force Exercise 95" (JTFEX 95) was the first iteration of this exercise series, which continues to this day.
The Joint Task Force Exercise is the culmination of training and preparation for deployment. This exercise requires the U.S. Naval and often, Allied forces, to integrate all assets to accomplish missions in a multi-threat, multi-dimensional environment. Throughout the exercise, Navy and Marine commanders must analyze mission requirements, prioritize and allocate assets, respond to constant changes in the exercise scenario, and orchestrate a coordinated response to crises similar to those they will face when deployed. To meet exercise requirements, planners and fighting forces must efficiently employ personnel and assets. The exercise serves as the ready-to-deploy certification for the Navy-Marine team, requiring tests of critical plans, synchronized employment of available assets and realistic training with live ordnance.
A centerpiece of the Joint Task Force Exercise is the Supporting Arms Coordination Exercise [SACEX].
The exercise is designed to meet the requirement for quality training that fully prepares U.S. and Allied forces for joint and combined operations. It also provides the Joint Task Force Commander, in his training fleet commander role, the opportunity to certify the CVBG and Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) for deployment.
During JTFEX the CVBG and ARG, with its Marine Expeditionary Unit embarked, integrate all assets as a single cohesive force. The multi-dimensional, multi-threat environment stresses every aspect of naval warfare and incorporates surveillance, rescue, and other operations such as maritime interdiction, embassy support and non-combatant evacuation.
The ARG/MEU will conduct SACEX/SOCEX at this time.
JTFEX forces the Battle Group Commander to evaluate and prioritize every potential threat, balance the competing demands of all warfare commanders, and apportion limited assets to counter threats and decisively prevail in combat.
In addition to the combat prowess of his forces, the Battle Group Commander and the warfare commanders are evaluated on their ability to accurately analyze and assess the tactical situation, assimilate new information and effectively allocate resources that are ready to fight. They are tested on overall mission accomplishment, interoperability, response to emergent tasking and force protection.
JTFEX participating forces train with equipment and systems that incorporate the latest advances in technology, and which support the full range of capabilities that may be needed in various geographic areas where joint and combined forces serve during deployment.
In addition to the carrier qualifications, all warfare areas are integrated into a joint campaign effort that transitions through the deployment, presence, increasing tensions, hostilities and redeployment/de-escalation phases. The deploying BG commander will normally be required to fulfill duties as a Joint Force Maritime Component Commander (JFMCC). He may also be assigned duties as a Sector Air Defense Commander (SADC)/Regional Air Defense Commander (RADC). Air wing assets will be tasked via a Joint Force Air Component Commander (JFACC) Air Tasking Order (ATO). They will conduct operational strike planning in support of JTF campaign objectives and integrate with units from all U.S. Services. Further, this exercise may include participants from any number of allied countries. A final evaluation of the BG under this scenario-driven multi-threat environment is conducted by a Senior Officer Observer Team (SOOT) which ensures the BG is ready for overseas deployment.
The USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Carrier Battle Group (CVBG) and the USS Wasp (LHD 1) Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) participated in Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) 98-1 from Jan. 12 through Feb. 4, 1998. The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit was embarked aboard ships of the Wasp ARG. Carrier Air Wing Seven is embarked aboard John C. Stennis. Ships and submarines of the John C. Stennis CVBG participating in JTFEX 98-1 include USS Monterey (CG 61), USS San Jacinto (CG 56), USS Cole (DDG 67), USS Laboon (DDG 58), USS Caron (DD 970), USS Santa Barbara (AE 28), USS Providence (SSN 719) and USS Minneapolis-St. Paul (SSN 708). Ships of the Wasp ARG include USS Trenton (LPD 14) and USS Portland (LSD 37). This exercise, which included participation by more than 30,000 service members from all branches of the armed forces, was designed to meet the requirements for quality, realistic, intensive training to fully prepare U.S. forces for joint operations. Conducted by U.S. Army Lt. Gen. John M. Keene, Commander, XVIII Airborne Corps and JTF 840, JTFEX 98-1 featured the latest advances in technology and reflect a wide range of capabilities that may be needed in various geographic areas where forces serve on deployment. The John C. Stennis CVBG and Wasp ARG departed for a scheduled six-month deployment in March 1998, and the JTFEX served as the final certification on their readiness to deploy. This was the first deployment for Stennis, the Navy's newest aircraft carrier. The maritime and amphibious portion of the exercise took place primarily off the coast of Puerto Rico and North Carolina.
More than 16,000 Sailors, Marines, Airmen, and reservists participated in a major exercise April 13 through 24 1998 off the Southern California Coast. Pacific Joint Task Force Exercise 98-1 (PAC JTFEX 98-1) prepared naval forces to participate in joint operations with other U.S. forces. The 3rd Fleet exercise will involve more than 25 ships, and various types of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters from the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Carrier Battle Group and the USS Essex (LHD 2) Amphibious Ready Group. Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 14 will embark in Abraham Lincoln and the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit will embark in Essex. PAC JTFEX 98-1 is the final training evaluation that certifies the forces for deployment to the Arabian Gulf this summer. Naval operations included Maritime Interception Operations (MIO), Non-Combatant Evacuation Operations (NEO), various air strike and support missions, operational testing of various weapons systems, Theater Ballistic Missile Defense (TBMD), logistics support, search and rescue, and command and control. An amphibious landing at Camp Pendleton, Calif., on April 21, involved Navy surface and helicopter assault forces, U.S. Air Force aircraft, as well as units from Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. Other U.S. ships participating in PAC JTFEX 98-1 include USS Coronado (AGF 11), USS Anchorage (LSD 36), USS Duluth (LPD 6), USS Valley Forge (CG 50), USS Shiloh (CG 67), USS Elliot (DD 967), USS Jarrett (FFG 33), USS Columbia (SSN 771), USS Jefferson City (SSN 759), USS Lewis B. Puller (FFG 23), USS Wadsworth (FFG 9), USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), USS Milius (DDG 69), USS McClusky (FFG 41), USS Oldendorf (DD 972), USS Cheyenne (SSN 773), USS Key West (SSN 722), USS Osprey (MHC 51), USS Kingfisher (MHC 56), USS Pelican (MHC 53), USS Falcon (MHC 59) and USNS Victorious (T-AGOS 19).
Hostilities broke out at approximately 3 a.m. on 20 December 2000 between Kartuna and its neighbor Korona. United States and allied forces, already deployed to the Gulf of Subani, sprang into action to protect Korona from the aggressor, a country long known for arms sales and state-sponsored terrorism. Petty Officer Second Class Allan Pickett of Ballston Lake manned his console in the Joint Operations Center of the joint command ship USS Mount Whitney, closely monitoring the maritime operations of the battle. These "countries'' are actually located in the Carolinas, and the "gulf'' is formed by two simulated islands that exist only on military maps. The action was a huge war game between Nov. 30 and Dec. 19 called Joint Task Force Exercise. Several local Navy reservists took part Dec. 3-20, as part of their annual training and weekend drilling requirements. The goals of the exercise were to determine the weaknesses in joint operations that involve the armed services and to strengthen ties with U.S. allies.
Originally advertised as a JOINT exercise involving COALITION ABCA forces, this JFCOM run exercise is now utilizing assets from the 31st ID ARNG acting as the ARFOR and BDE Staff. PEOC3T SPO support personnel are working with FORSCOM and JFCOM as well as the 31st ID ARNG in developing a strategy for providing equipment and network engineering support as well as operator training in systems such as: AFATDS, ASAS-L, MCS-L, GCCS-A and AMDWS. Key milestones will be several Spiral test events, leading to the actual training and follow-on exercise 1-23 June 04.
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