The US Navy's Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (Ike CSG) has carried out a trial air defence mission during a sustainment exercise (SUSTEX).
The sustainment exercise has been carried out to maintain deployment readiness as part of the Navy's Optimized Fleet Response Plan (OFRP).
Eisenhower CSG's USS San Jacinto (CG 56) Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser provided integrated air and missile defence to the strike group.
Ike CSG air and missile defense commander and commanding officer of San Jacinto captain Dennis Velez said: "In addition to the Navy's core combat capabilities, the mission of the AMDC cruiser is to provide air and missile defence of the entire strike group, ensuring the carrier's freedom of operations.”
The navy also noted that the exercise was aimed at testing the combat-readiness of San Jacinto and strike group components, as well as their ability to achieve mission success throughout the spectrum of combat operations at sea.
Crew members were exposed to advanced, near-peer threats that naval forces may encounter on a deployment as part of the daily exercises.
The exercise saw San Jacinto successfully defend the carrier against multiple simulated hostile air and surface threats, thereby ensuring freedom of operations in support of national interests.
The event saw participation from F / A-18E Super Hornets assigned to the Sidewinders of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 86 and Gunslingers of VFA-105, F / A-18C from the Wildcats of VFA-131, as well as F / A-18F from the Fighting Swordsmen of VFA-32.
In addition to USS San Jacinto, USS Monterey (CG 61) and the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike) also took part in the exercise.