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Iwo Jima ARG Wraps up FST-GC

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS170809-08
Release Date: 8/9/2017 1:38:00 PM

From USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) Public Affairs

MAYPORT, Fla. (NNS) -- The Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) successfully completed Group Commander Fleet Synthetic Training (FST-GC), Aug. 8, continuing the work-up cycle prior to a scheduled deployment early next year.

FST-GC is a two-week virtual exercise that includes both operational and tactical planning. The first week of training is conducted in a classroom environment, followed by one week of simulated operations on ships in port.

"The entire Iwo ARG continues to excel as we prepare for the deployment," said Capt. Jack Killman, deputy commodore, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 4. "All of the exercises during FST-GC provided us with the opportunity to integrate with each other, operate in a high-tempo environment, and most importantly, train as a team to become a fighting force."

Simulating real-life scenarios, the synthetic training environment allows for the evaluation of pre-planned responses. This allows the ARG to focus on the planning, execution and evaluation of tactical operations. The simulations build challenging scenarios, demanding that ships and their crews communicate and work together in order to succeed.

Leading the exercise was Tactical Training Group Atlantic, whose mission is to provide advanced tactical training and to improve proficiency in warfighting and joint operations. Computer-generated environmental conditions, political unrest and foreign military provocations test the warfare commanders and operators' decision-making process and pre-planned responses during FST-GC. In addition to the Iwo Jima ARG, the Royal Danish navy participated in FST-GC to further integrate working with partner nations to include having an embarked liaison officer and two frigates operating from their training facility in Copenhagen, Denmark.

"The amount of knowledge and near real-life experiences received for our watch teams over the past two weeks will pay huge dividends as we continue our training cycle and prepare for deployment," said Killman.

The Iwo Jima ARG will continue their deployment preparations over the next few months with an ARG/MEU Exercise, followed by a Composite Training Unit Exercise.

The Iwo Jima ARG is comprised of amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), amphibious transport dock USS New York (LPD 21) and amphibious dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51), along with the embarked staff of PHIBRON 4, which includes members from Fleet Surgical Team 8, Tactical Air Squadron 22 and Naval Beach Group 2.

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