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Iran Press TV

Largest US naval war game in decades to include 25,000 forces across 17 time zones

Iran Press TV

Sunday, 23 May 2021 1:14 AM

Tens of thousands of American sailors and Marines will participate in the largest US naval war game in a generation to prepare for potential conflicts with China or Russia across vast distances.

Aircraft carriers, submarines, war planes, unmanned vessels, and nearly 25,000 military forces will take part in Large Scale Exercise (LSE) 2021, which is due to commence in late summer, the US-based news outlet reported Friday, adding that the massive war game will span 17 time zones with American sailors and Marines joining forces in the US, Africa, Europe and the Pacific.

"LSE is more than just training, it is leveraging the integrated fighting power of multiple naval forces to share sensors, weapons, and platforms across all domains in contested environments, globally," Commander of US Fleet Forces Adm. Christopher Grady said as quoted in the report.

The exercise, he added, will be the first in a series "that will continue to push the envelope of what it means to be the superior maritime force."

According to the report, live forces will take part in the military drills in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, noting that the US Navy and Marine Corps "are working more closely after decades of missions focused on the Middle East."

As competition for influence builds with China and Russia, it added, "the Department of the Navy is shifting its focus from a largely land-based fight against terror groups to deterring aggression," without pointing to any specific threats.

The sailors and Marines taking part in the war game "will test several concepts they're likely to encounter in a possible conflict with China," the report also noted. "Scenarios will test the sailors and Marines' ability to conduct distributed operations; expeditionary advanced-base operations; littoral operations in a contested environment; and command and control in a contested environment."

"We've been applying war-fighting concepts like Distributed Maritime Operations ... to fleet battle problems at the strike group level to rapidly advance organizational learning," said Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Grady as quoted in the report.

"LSE 2021 is important because we will apply those lessons learned at-scale to further our employment of synchronized, integrated operations across all domains globally, to ensure we remain the superior maritime force in a high-end fight," Grady emphasized.

Three dozen units will participate in physical portions of the large-scale war game, while more than 50 will join the exercise remotely, the report further explained citing Lt. Cmdr. Tabitha Klingensmith with US Fleet Forces Command.

Participating units will include personnel from all three Marine expeditionary forces and sailors from the Navy's Second, Third, Sixth, Seventh and Tenth fleets, with Klingensmith pointing out that while the US military has conducted big naval drills such as Bold Alligator and Rim of the Pacific, the training events are growing in scope and complexity.

That's because combining live and virtual participants "will expand the playing field beyond what has ever been achieved in live-only exercises," Klingensmith underlined.

"LSE 2021 will use technologies similar to what you see in virtual video gaming environments to expand the number of participants by linking commands and units around the globe virtually, thereby increasing the number of players, real and synthetic, to better replicate the realistic scale of scenarios the Navy and Marine Corps team is likely to face in the future," she further emphasized as quoted in the report.

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