The US Navy has concluded the ninth iteration of biennial joint field training exercise (FTX) Valiant Shield 2022 (VS22).

The 12-day-long exercise, which concluded on 17 June, aimed to enhance integration between the US forces by conducting joint operations at sea, on land, in air, and in cyberspace.

VS22 provided the joint forces with an opportunity to practise capabilities such as detecting, locating, tracking and engaging adversary units in a real-world setting.

The exercises were carried out in the Joint Region Marianas area of operations, including Palau, Naval Base Guam, Andersen Air Force Base, off-shore Mariana Island Range Complex and in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands.

VS22 lead planner and US Navy commander Logan Ridley said: “Conducting Valiant Shield in Western Pacific provided precise opportunities to exercise Joint Task Force’s real-world tactical mission, execute long-range fires, and visualise those successes.”

This year’s iteration included a series of events and exercises, including a sinking exercise (SINKEX), which involves a synchronised sequence of live-fire drills. It was conducted aboard a decommissioned vessel USS Vandegrift (FFG 48).

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The drill allowed the US joint forces to evaluate new weapons and communication technologies to conduct long-range, lethal, precise and multi-domain strikes against a surface target at sea.

Apart from SINKEX, the US Marine Corps’ (USMC) III Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) also conducted high mobility artillery rocket system (HIMARS) rapid infiltration in Palau.

Additionally, the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) demonstrated several capabilities including port security, coastal patrol, expeditionary diving, logistics support, construction, explosive ordnance disposal and Automated Construction of Expeditionary Structures (ACES).

The 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command (AAMDC) also conducted a Patriot missile live-fire exercise in Palau.

Furthermore, the US has started planning for the next Valiant Shieled in 2024 to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region.