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DESRON 7 Completes Sea Combat Commander Training Ahead of Upcoming Warfighting Exercises, CARAT

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS150319-03
Release Date: 3/19/2015 7:13:00 AM

By Lt. Lauryn Dempsey, DESRON 7 Public Affairs

SINGAPORE (NNS) -- Destroyer Squadron 7 staff completed the Sea Combat Commander (SCC) course taught by instructors from Tactical Training Group, Pacific, March 19.

The course is designed to reinforce SCC skills to carrier strike group and expeditionary strike group SCC staffs.

'DESRON 7 is one of two forward deployed DESRONs in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, so we have to keep our warfighting skills sharp,' said Capt. Fred Kacher, commodore, DESRON 7. 'The Sea Combat Commander course provides a superb training opportunity to refine those operational skills and that is important as we live and operate in a region as dynamic as the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.'

The three-day course consisted of classroom instruction combined with staff participation to develop and refine the techniques and procedures required to operate surface and sub-surface warfare areas in a tactical environment. Course topics included discussion on watchstanding principles, air operations and planning, anti-submarine warfare and SCC best practices.

'The SCC course was an invaluable training evolution for DESRON 7 as we prepare for upcoming operations and exercises in 7th Fleet,' said Lt. Ken Zilka, DESRON 7 Force Protection Officer.

The SCC training comes on the heels of the staff's participation in the annual U.S.-Republic of Korea exercise Foal Eagle, marking the second consecutive year DESRON 7 supported this exercise series. Later in 2015, DESRON 7 will participate in Fleet Synthetic Training-Joint (FST-J) exercises in Japan and exercise Talisman Sabre off the coast of Australia.

DESRON 7 also leads the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise series, the U.S. Navy's premier naval engagement in South and Southeast Asia, on behalf of Commander, Task Force 73 (CTF 73), U.S. 7th Fleet's executive agent for theater security cooperation in South and Southeast Asia.

CARAT 2015 will be the third consecutive year the staff has led the exercise series, which has made DESRON 7 the familiar face for partner navies and is helping the U.S. Navy to forge deeper relations with regional navy counterparts. The consistency DESRON 7 brings to CARAT allows the staff to build upon lessons learned from previous years to incrementally elevate the tactical complexity of each exercise and to strengthen SCC skills with partner navies, both during shore-based training and at sea together.

'The Indo-Asia-Pacific is a region of ever-growing importance to our national security,' said Kacher. 'As highlighted throughout the newly-released Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower, a global network of navies is key to maintaining security and stability around the world. Here in Southeast Asia, CARAT is a venue where we strengthen those alliances and partnerships by building and sustaining naval capacities to deal with regional maritime challenges.'

DESRON 7 joined U.S. 7th Fleet's forward deployed naval forces in late 2012, operating primarily throughout Southeast Asia in support of America's Rebalance to the Indo-Asia-Pacific. In addition to participation in regional exercises such as Foal Eagle and CARAT, DESRON 7 serves as the primary tactical commander of littoral combat ships rotationally deployed to Singapore.

The U.S. 7th Fleet conducts forward-deployed naval operations in support of U.S. national interests in the Indo-Asia-Pacific area of operations. As the U.S. Navy's largest numbered fleet, U.S. 7th Fleet interacts with 35 maritime nations to build partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability and prevent conflict.

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