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USS Scranton Brings Submarine's Perspective to MBGIE Exercise

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050223-01
Release Date: 2/23/2005 10:23:00 AM

By Chief Journalist (SW/AW) Mark O. Piggott, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The fast-attack submarine USS Scranton (SSN 756) demonstrated that submarines are an integral part of the Navy's strike and battle group framework during its participation in the Multi-Battle Group Inport Exercise (MBGIE), Feb. 7-11.

This was the first time joint (Army and Air Force) and coalition forces used the Navy's Continuous Training Environment infrastructure and Joint Forces Command's Joint Training and Experimentation Network for training, and Scranton was a key element of the exercise's success.

"This exercise was fantastic training for the full crew," said Lt. Cmdr. John Newton, Scranton's executive officer.

The MBGIE scenario encompassed 56 hours of continuous wartime planning and execution, and allowed participants the opportunity to train at all levels, promote coordination between warfare commanders, execute joint and combined battle force operations, and to familiarize their crews with real-time joint and combined operations in a high tension, combat environment.

"It's an example of network centric warfare, fighting a simulated regional crisis," Newton added.

Scranton's crew utilized the Attack Center One (AC1) trainer at the Submarine Learning Facility (SUBLRNFAC), located a short distance from the pier where they are moored. AC1 is configured to exercise submarine crews in anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and all aspects of strike planning and execution, including Engagement Planning, Command and Control, Mission Data Update (MDU) Operations, Strike Execution and Casualty Response.

SUBLRNFAC is the premier schoolhouse for exercising submarines in tomahawk strike warfare. The true distinction in SUBLRNFAC's ability to train the fleet lies in its ability to train submarine teams in warfare command and control.

The "realism" of the trainer made for a more realistic exercise for the Scranton team.

"It's an 'around the clock' exercise, with full watch teams and reliefs," Newton added. "Though nothing can replace at-sea training, MBGIE provided an excellent opportunity for focused training to meet a specific objective," as well as demonstrate the interoperability of the submarine force at all levels of strike group work-up and deployment.

A diverse and joint exercise like MBGIE allowed joint U.S. and coalition forces to better integrate themselves into the battlespace, to become a much more effective fighting force. This is especially crucial for the submarine force.

"Exercises like MBGIE highlight the strengths of the submarine, showing the fleet what submarines can bring to the table," Newton said.

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