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Reagan Wraps Up ASW Exercise

From USS Ronald Reagan Public Affairs


Carrier Strike Group Seven (CSG 7), comprised of USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) , Destroyer Squadron Seven (DESRON 7), USS Lake Champlain (CG-57), and Carrier Air Wing Fourteen (CVW-14) have completed a four-day Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) exercise that took place January 9-12 off the coast of Hawaii.

The goal of the exercise was to test the anti-submarine warfare capabilities of the Ronald Reagan Strike Group in real-world scenarios. Anti-submarine warfare is critical to support the “Sea Shield” pillar of the Chief of Naval Operation’s “Sea Power 21.” This concept calls for the ability to form a maritime shield to defend “Sea Base” areas against submarine and mine threats, and ensure a safe, protected sea passage of U.S. and coalition forces to and from the fight.

Rear Adm. Michael H. Miller, Commander of Carrier Strike Group Seven, said he was extremely impressed with the way the different components of the strike group worked together to be successful during the four-day ASW exercise.

“DESRON 7, Lake Champlain, Ronald Reagan and CVW-14 truly melded as a potent ASW team,” said Miller. “This ASW exercise proved that we have the ability to detect and destroy hostile submarines in support of COMPACFLT’s [Commander, Pacific Fleet] number one mission priority. Carrier Strike Group Seven is an example of how the Navy is able to carry out these types of missions anytime, anywhere in the world,” he added.

“The Ronald Reagan Strike Group is the first Strike Group to deploy with the Navy’s improved surface ship sonar installed on both of our destroyers,” said Capt. David F. Steindl, Commander, DESRON 7. “The improved detection capability of our ships permitted rapid deployment of our ASW helicopter detachments, who engaged the opposition submarines swiftly and accurately. The impressive results of this exercise demonstrate that the right technology in the hands of highly trained Sailors delivers an incredible ASW capability.”

The coast of Hawaii is rich in large marine mammal life, and this exercise provided a demonstration of the precautions the Navy has in place to ensure protection of these creatures, while providing first-rate training for its Sailors. Members of different environmental groups had the chance to tour Reagan and see some of these precautions first hand.

“Successful ASW requires that we fully understand and can optimize our sensors in the environment we operate; it is the most challenging part of ASW,” said Lt. Vanessa DeSha of the Naval Oceanographic ASW Team.

“I’m very proud of the participation of the officers and crew of USS Ronald Reagan this past week,” said Capt. Terry B. Kraft, Reagan’s Commanding Officer. “Defending against the undersea threat tests our teamwork across a spectrum of tasks. We are better for it,” said Kraft.

Cmdr. Scott Bischoff, Commanding Officer of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Four (HS-4), said he was also impressed with the success of the four-day exercise.

“It was a great opportunity to focus on ASW, one of our primary mission areas, for a sustained length of time while having our performance analyzed with great feedback. It surely makes us a better force,” said Bischoff.

The Ronald Reagan Strike Group is comprised of CVW-14, DESRON 7, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Reagan, the guided missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), the guided-missile destroyers USS McCampbell (DDG 85) and USS Decatur (DDG 73), the fast combat support ship USS Rainier (T-AOE 7), and Explosives Ordnance Disposal Unit 11, Det. 15.

The squadrons of CVW-14 include the “Redcocks” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 22, the “Fist of the Fleet” of VFA-25, the “Stingers” of VFA-113, the “Eagles” of VFA-115, the “Black Eagles” of Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 113, the “Cougars” of Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron (VAQ) 139, and the “Providers” of Carrier Logistics Support (VRC) 30.

CVW-14 helicopter assets include the “Black Knights” of HS-4, the “Wolfpack” of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 45, which are embarked on board USS Lake Champlain, and the “Red Stingers” of HSL-49, which are embarked aboard USS McCampbell.

Reagan is currently on her maiden deployment to the Western Pacific and Arabian Gulf in support of the Global War on Terrorism and maritime security operations

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Updated: 12 January 2008
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