The US Navy ships are participating in an independent deployer certification exercise (IDCERTEX) in Southern California.
The certification exercise, which is scheduled to take place between 25 April and 3 May, will provide a multi-ship environment to train and certify independent deployers in surface warfare, air defence, maritime interception operations, and combat systems intelligence and mine warfare.
The exercise will involve training multiple ships and aircraft and also features flight operations, submarine tracking, strait transit formations, replenishment-at-sea and other necessary mission evolutions.
Led by Commander, US 3rd Fleet (C3F) and executed by Commander, Carrier Strike Group Fifteen (CSG 15), the exercise will also include Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 3, Commander, Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command (NMAWC), Commander, Carrier Air Wing Nine (CVW 9), Commander, Destroyer Squadron 21 (DESRON) 21, the aircraft carrier USS John C Stennis (CVN 74).
Additional assets include the guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), the guided-missile destroyers USS Higgins (DDG 76), USS Chung Hoon (DDG 93), USS Kidd (DDG 100), USS Stockdale (DDG 106), USS William P Lawrence (DDG 110), and littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1).
Commander of CSG 15 Rear Admiral Joe Kuzmick said: "This exercise not only serves as an opportunity to certify Higgins and LCS Crew 101 to execute a wide variety of missions while deployed, but also leverages other units scheduled to be underway, such as the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, to provide integrated training that Higgins and LCS Crew 101 wouldn't otherwise have."
With IDCERTEX, CSG 15 can assess and certify Higgins and sailors from USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) Crew 101, embarked aboard Freedom, across multiple warfare areas before their regular scheduled deployments.