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U.S. 5th Fleet Assets Expand Expeditionary Command and Control Capabilities

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050302-06
Release Date: 3/2/2005 8:47:00 AM

From Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs

MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- U.S. naval assets practiced establishing and operating a command and control facility from a remote location in a forward operating area within the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility, in conjunction with exercise Neon Falcon '05, Feb. 17-23.

Neon Falcon is a tri-lateral exercise involving U.S., U.K. and Bahraini maritime assets.

The two-week exercise was designed to train a rapidly deployable command and control staff capable of operations from remote locations. The scenario took many of the service members involved well out of their normal environment.

"What we're doing is testing our ability to take an expeditionary command post headquarters out to the field and set it up in an austere environment," said Capt. Kurt Tidd, commander, Destroyer Squadron 50 and officer conducting the exercise. "Typically, a destroyer squadron would be embarked on a ship, conducting a maritime exercise from a shipboard environment. What we're testing is the ability to run a maritime exercise from this desert-based command and control headquarters."

Destroyer Squadron 50, the guided-missile destroyer USS Thach (FFG 43), air assets from the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Strike Group, a Marine Corps Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team, Naval Mobile Security Squadron 3, the Joint Mobile Ashore Support Terminal, and active-duty and reserve personnel from Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet participated.

"This is what we really are supposed to be doing; coming out here and training for real world operations to keep up our skills in order to be ready to come out and stand a real watch when we're needed," said Cmdr. Brett Feinstein, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Reserve Det. 108 operations officer.

Other coalition partners joined them in an additional effort to enhance interoperability and maintain readiness.

"The exercise is giving us the opportunity to work with a number of our coalition partners...testing our ability to track ships, conduct boardings, communicate and ensure we have the same procedures so we can work together safely," said Tidd.

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