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American Forces Press Service

U.S., U.K. Co-Host Carrier Strike Group Exercise

From a U.S. European Command News Release

STUTTGART, Germany, July 28, 2017 – Naval forces from the U.S., U.K. and other Allied and partner countries are supporting Exercise Saxon Warrior 2017 in the North Atlantic Ocean Aug. 1-10 to demonstrate Allied interoperability and collective defense through power projection from the sea, U.S. European Command officials here announced today.

Sailors will participate in robust training scenarios that span the full spectrum of carrier strike group operations including strategic strike, air defense operations, combat air support and enforcement of no-fly zones.

Protecting Freedom

"The U.S. and U.K. share a great military history, built on a shared culture of protecting freedom and defense globally," said Army Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, Eucom's commander and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe.

"We stand shoulder to shoulder here today to help them refine and enhance their carrier strike group capabilities," Scaparrotti added.

U.S. forces assigned to the U.S. 6th Fleet, including the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group, will train side by side with forces from the United Kingdom's Carrier Strike Group to build combined maritime and aviation capability and capacity.

As the U.K. prepares to achieve initial operating capability for its new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier, this training will enhance the interoperability necessary to conduct combined CSG operations.

Honing Interoperability Skills

"Saxon Warrior allows both U.S. and U.K. naval forces a chance to hone our interoperability skills. Particularly important is the alignment of U.S. carrier strike groups and the U.K. carrier strike group," said Navy Rear Adm. Kenneth Whitesell, Carrier Strike Group 2 commander. "This unique opportunity affords hands-on planning and execution across the spectrum of warfighting for both strike group staffs, strengthening our military understanding and capability."

U.S. sailors routinely participate in multilateral and joint exercises with Allies and partners, both underway and in port. Participation in exercises like Saxon Warrior enables the United States to maintain its combined warfighting readiness and be prepared to respond to crises around the world.

Aircraft carriers are the centerpiece of America's Navy. The 10 Nimitz-class aircraft carriers are the largest warships in the world, each designed for an approximately 50-year service life with just a single midlife refueling. This is a global Navy.

GHWB CSG consists of the flagship USS George H.W. Bush with embarked staffs of CSG-2, Carrier Air Wing 8 and Destroyer Squadron 22, and the squadrons of CVW-8; guided-missile cruisers USS Philippine Sea and USS Hue City; and DESRON 22 guided missile destroyers USS Laboon and USS Truxtun.

Approximately 6,000 U.S. sailors will participate in Saxon Warrior 17. Nations scheduled to participate in Saxon Warrior 17 include: Germany, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. Saxon Warrior was last held in 2011.

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