US Navy ships led by the Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC) have taken part in an exercise called Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training (SWATT) in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

Amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8), amphibious transport docks ships USS Somerset (LPD 25) and USS San Diego (LPD 22), and littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) participated in the training that was conducted from 30 March to 17 April.

Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center Commander Scott Robertson said: “This advanced tactical exercise was the most demanding we’ve had to date for the Surface Force as we navigated being able to safely execute this critical training amidst the challenges presented by Covid-19.

“The ultimate intent was to increase the lethality and combat power of naval surface forces by preparing our units to do what warships are designed to do-fight and win at sea, and that’s exactly what was accomplished here.”

The advanced level training was aimed at increasing the tactical proficiency, lethality, and interoperability of amphibious and littoral combat ships within US Third Fleet.

Together, the ships performed anti-submarine, surface, air defense and amphibious warfare training exercises.

They also carried out complex live-fire events, such as missile exercises, torpedo exercises and gunnery exercises.

SMWDC lead SWATT planner Ryan Downing said: “The team was united, maximised force readiness, and minimised exposure to the harmful conditions the world is experiencing. They were ready and leaned forward into SWATT, which is an exercise dedicated to improved warfighting skills, increased lethality, and overall tactical proficiency across multiple warfare disciplines.”

The ships employed their combat and weapon systems across several live-fire and complex training events during the exercise.

SMWDC and each ship followed all guidelines of the CDC and navy regarding Covid-19.