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Conway conveys vision for ESG-1

Hawai'i Navy News

Release Date: 6/6/2003

Lt. Chris Davis ESG 1 Public Affairs

Rear Adm. Robert T. Conway Jr., Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 1, can sum up his vision for ESG 1 in one word - transformational.

"Having a flag or general officer in command of an Expeditionary Strike Group allows for the Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and Amphibious Squadron to redefine themselves with regard to the capabilities and packages they can employ," said Conway.

As ESG 1 conducts exercises in the Southern California operating area in preparation for deployment in support of the global war on terror, Conway is focusing the group of seven warships and the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) toward that transformation and the global war on terrorism.

ESG 1 will employ the Expeditionary Composite Warfare Concept in order to shape the battle space in the conduct of operations across the spectrum of conflict. This includes missions such as humanitarian assistance, non-combatant evacuation, as well as joint support to task force operations in the world's most vital theaters.

"ESG provides mobility, agility and lethality, giving greater flexibility to the regional or combatant commander," said Conway.

This approach, said Conway, will exercise his subordinate commanders in new ways. The MEU has traditionally identified 23 mission areas it was ready to perform. With the assets of the ESG, the MEU commander now fights as the strike commander, with the potential for expanded missions and capabilities, according to Conway.

Likewise, the amphibious squadron now becomes a "Strike Squadron," with expanded missions, capabilities and packages, as well. "Words have meaning," said Conway, and ESG 1 will focus on "strike, strike, strike."

The warfare commanders agree. "Our 23 special missions have always been our bread and butter," said Col. Mike Regner, commander, 13th MEU (SOC).

"Now, they serve as a core, a base on which we'll build the next level of strike capability with the ESG," said Regner. "The admiral's got the vision, we've got the outstanding Marines and Sailors to make it happen, and we've got almost 250 years of successful blue-green teamwork. I'm extremely confident in our ability to make this work."

Capt. Steve Doyle, commander, Amphibious Squadron 3, employs the substantial surface assets available to the ESG as sea combat commander.

"The seamless integration of the ESG's organic assets will be a wonderful challenge to meet," he said. "When these organic assets are combined with the non-organic capabilities of Navy, joint and national sensors, it is apparent that the ESG is a potent strike force uniquely tailored for the changed world we live in since Sept. 11, 2001."

ESG air defense commander and commanding officer of USS Port Royal (CG 73), Capt. Pat Allen, is also enthusiastic about the persistent and credible combat power of the strike group.

"The significant air defense capabilities of USS Port Royal, USS Decatur (DDG 73) and USS Jarrett (FFG 33), combined with the AV-8B Harriers of the 13th MEU (SOC), will allow the ESG to provide the core joint air and missile defense command and control, that can be scaled with non-organic assets to match the mission assigned. We look forward to this challenge."

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