The U.S. Navy’s Carrier Strike Group 10 (CSG-10) completed its first Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training (SWATT) exercise Sep. 21.
SWATT is the Surface Force’s premier advanced tactical training exercise developed and led by Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC). SWATT provides multi-ship, multi-platform, multi-warfare area training at sea to increase combat capability, lethality and interoperability.
Staffs and units that participated in the exercise were Commander Task Force 80 (CTF 80); Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC); Carrier Strike Group 10 (CSG 10); Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26; Carrier Air Wing Three (CVW 3) USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), USS San Jacinto (CG 56), USS Vella Gulf (CG 72), USS Stout (DDG 55), USS McFaul (DDG 74), USS Truxton (DDG 103), USS James E. Williams (DDG 95), USS Roosevelt (DDG 80), (Royal Netherlands Navy) HNLMS De Ruyter (FFG-804), Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 7, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 74, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 48, Patrol Squadron 26 and USS Newport News (SSN-750).
“SWATT provides a critical path for warfare commanders to develop the combat capability needed by our Numbered Fleet Commanders to compete effectively in an era of Great Power Competition,” said Rear Adm. Paul J. Schlise, commander, CSG-10. “It is a Team-based approach to what all parts of the CSG are designed to do – fight and win at sea. The Weapons-Tactics Instructors (WTI) that form the backbone of the SMWDC Team that execute these SWATT events are simply outstanding, and the training is only getting better.”
According to DESRON 26’s Commodore, SWATT provides focused training to support naval sea control with an eye on maritime interoperability and increased lethality across the surface fleet.
“For several weeks, we leveraged SWATT’s training scenarios to increase combat capability, lethality and interoperability of our destroyers,” said Capt. William Shafley, Commodore, DESRON 26. “SWATT provides us live-scenarios to instill competence and confidence of the combat watch standers and weapon systems of our warships, so that we can be ready to fight tonight if necessary.”
During SWATT, the major training events included conducting integrated air and missile defense (IAMD), anti-submarine warfare / surface warfare (ASW/SUW), information warfare (IW), ship maneuvering and live-fire events designed to tactically prepare surface forces for maritime warfare missions.
“The biggest benefit of SWATT is the ability to work as a coordinated multi-ship unit for an extended duration,” said Cmdr. James Van Nest, executive officer, USS San Jacinto (CG 56). “The greatest value is building the coordination skills required to ensure all commands share a common operational and tactical understanding, and SWATT is the perfect opportunity to build proficiency.”
SMWDC led the SWATT exercise with WTIs, senior mentors and subject matter experts embarked aboard IKE Strike Group warships. These onboard trainers provided over-the-shoulder mentoring for watchstanders and commanding officer and warfare commander level guidance from senior mentors. Subject matter experts and onboard technical community personnel delivered rapid replay capability from scheduled training events that provided immediate feedback for watchstanders to help them rapidly learn from challenges they experienced during training.
More than 10 SWATT exercises have been completed by CSG cruiser-destroyers and amphibious ready group warships since 2016.
“The SWATT exercises have been incredibility beneficial in further developing our bridge and combat watch teams,” said Lt. j.g. Andrew S. Cornick, USS James E. Williams’ (DDG 95) navigator. “It has been inspiring watching our teams integrate and apply the tactics learned during these exercises, maximizing the combat readiness of our crew. The training provided to us from SMWDC has only further enhanced our ability to answer our nation’s call, no matter the mission.”
SMWDC is a subordinate command of Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet and exists to increase the lethality and tactical proficiency of the Surface Force across all domains.
CSG-10, also known as the Eisenhower CSG, is employed in a variety of roles, all of which involve gaining and maintaining sea control in an era of Great Power Competition. The CSG concept remains the ultimate manifestation of naval power and is the premier power projection platform for the naval force.
Carrier Strike Group 10