U.S. Naval Forces Northern Command (NAVNORTH) units, including the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG), as well as Atlantic-based Navy submarines and aircraft, alongside forces from Canada, Denmark, and the U.S. Air Force on May 31 completed ‘Vigilant Osprey.’
The naming for the exercise was in homage to the people and geographic location in which it was conducted. Vigilant is typically used in NORTHCOM exercises, and Osprey, Nova Scotia’s provincial bird, is a tribute to the Canadian participants.
The name specifically was given to honor the victims of the mass shooting which occurred in Nova Scotia several weeks ago, the loss of six aircrew and sailors in a military helicopter crash, and to Capt. Jennifer Casey, the Canadian Forces Snowbird’s Public Affairs Officer who was killed in a jet crash this month.
“Exercise Vigilant Osprey provided the framework to operate alongside our partners in the Atlantic. Any opportunity we get to integrate and synchronize capabilities and capacities at-sea in today’s complex, multi-domain, and contested environment is invaluable training,” said Adm. Christopher Grady, NAVNORTH commander.
“While any navy can surge forces, none of us can surge trust. This week we were able to further strengthen our strong partner ties knowing that we will not fight alone.”
While any navy can surge forces,
none of us can surge trust
Elements of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) joined with HSTCSG to conduct a bi-national, multi-domain exercise in the Atlantic Ocean.
The RCN provided afloat logistics support to the CSG, HMCS Ville de Quebec (VDQ) participated in a bi-lateral anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and air defense exercise with HSTCSG, while CP-140 Aurora Long-Range Patrol aircraft conducted multiple overflights and participated in ASW events.
“This was an excellent advanced readiness opportunity for Canadian and American maritime forces,” explained Rear-Admiral Craig Baines, Commander Maritime Forces Atlantic (MARLANT).
“The scenarios utilized during these events enable our mutual ability to operate in a multi-threat environment, in which coordination and integration are absolutely critical for our success in responding to any crisis in our waters or internationally.”
Commander, U.S 2nd Fleet (C2F), as NAVNORTH’s Maritime Command Element-East (MCE-E), and Joint Arctic Command (JACO) HQ in Nuuk, Greenland exercised tactical and operational information sharing in order to improve mutual situational awareness. The exercise between these headquarters ensured both classified and unclassified information could be shared in real time.
“The Atlantic is a contested environment, and our partnerships strengthen our advantage and complicate potential adversary decision making,” said Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis, Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet and Maritime Command Element- East.
“Operating with multiple combatant commands, other services, and learning from our Canadian and Danish Allies in the North Atlantic enhances our collective capabilities. We are stronger together.”
Exercise participants utilized Link 16, a tactical data link system that enhances tactical capabilities by allowing players to share real-time situational awareness and command and control data.
“Danish Joint Arctic Command is responsible for the defence and security of the Arctic regions of the Danish Kingdom, including Greenland and the Faroe Islands,” said Major General Kim Jesper Jørgensen, commander Danish Joint Arctic Command.
“The command values the opportunity to exercise with our friends and allies in U.S. 2nd Fleet and the Truman Carrier Strike Group. Exercises like this improve our ability to maintain peace and stability in the Arctic. I look forward to increasing the operational cooperation between U.S. 2nd Fleet and Danish Joint Arctic Command.”
While operating alongside supporting assets from the Northern American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM), U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM), and the newly formed U.S. Space Command (SPACECOM), the strike group demonstrated their role in the National Defense Strategy as a flexible and lethal asset ready to defend the homeland.
The HSTCSG is comprised of the flagship aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and the embarked squadrons of Carrier Air Wing 1, Destroyer Squadron 28, Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60), and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Lassen (DDG 82), USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98), and USS Farragut (DDG 99).
The strike group recently operated under the command of U.S. 5th and 6th Fleets, and the deployment serves as another example of how our Naval forces continue to be the most inherently flexible & available assets in times of crisis, providing presence & capabilities when needed. HSTCSG remains at sea in the Atlantic, conducting operations and is ready for tasking, while protecting the crew from the risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.