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Enterprise Takes Part in Exercise Sea Saber

Navy Newsstand

Story Number: NNS040129-05

Release Date: 1/28/2004 9:25:00 PM

By Journalist 3rd Class (SW) Jason Thompson, USS Enterprise Public Affairs

ABOARD USS ENTERPRISE, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Enterprise (CVN 65) recently finished Exercise Sea Saber, a multi-nation maritime interdiction training exercise held Jan. 11-17, to improve measures against the trafficking of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the Northern Arabian Sea and Arabian Gulf.

"Sea Saber was designed to practice stopping transportation of WMD via sea lanes," said Lt. Cmdr. Tom Storey, force protection and maritime interdiction officer for Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 18, embarked aboard Enterprise.

Enterprise coordinated the flow of information and determined which vessels to track. "The object is to covertly track a commercial exercise merchant vessel suspected of carrying WMD from port, using the cooperation of government intelligence and our own intelligence," said Storey.

Among the assets used by Big E to track and monitor movements of suspicious vessels were the S-3B Viking aircraft from the "Maulers" of Sea Control Squadron (VS) 32 embarked aboard Enterprise.

"We conducted Surface Search Correlation using radar and visual means, plus we used Forward Looking Infrared Radar," said Lt. j.g. Kevin Allen, a pilot assigned to VS-32. "We got airborne and tracked the vessel. We determined what flag they were flying and got good visuals of the ship. Then we transmitted that information back to the ship."

Once the information was directed back to the ship, personnel in Big E's Combat Direction Center (CDC) analyzed the information and transmitted the data to Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 1, embarked aboard USS Peleliu (LHA 5).

ESG 1 staff determined if the exercise merchant vessel was to be searched by teams from USS Gettysburg (CG 64) or USS Philippine Sea (CG 58), assigned to the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group.

While U.S. vessels played a significant role in Sea Saber, the exercise was not limited to American forces. Twelve countries were involved in Sea Saber, with the United States, Australia, France, Italy, Singapore, Spain and the United Kingdom providing operational forces. Denmark, Germany, Japan, Portugal and Turkey observed the exercise. The presence of so many nations was in keeping with the idea of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) introduced by President Bush during a speech May 31, 2003, in Krakow, Poland.

"We will extend this partnership as broadly as possible to keep the world's most destructive weapons away from our shores and out of the hands of our common enemies," said Bush.

Sea Saber is the fifth exercise under PSI.

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