U.S. troops ready for Valiant Shield exercise in Pacific Ocean

Sept. 11 (UPI) — The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan is among numerous ships, aircraft and military personnel involved in Valiant Shield, a Pacific Ocean training exercise.

The 12-day exercise of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command begins on Tuesday in Guam and at the Mariana Islands Range Complex. Approximately 100 aircraft and about 11,000 personnel of the Navy, Army, Air Force and Marines will be involved in training integration in a “blue water environment.”

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The amphibious assault ship USS America, amphibious transport dock USS New Orleans, dock landing ship USS Germantown and other surface ships will participate.

Valiant Shield, a biennial event in its eighth exercise since beginning in 2006, concentrates on enabling real-world proficiency in detecting, locating, tracking, and engaging units at sea, in the air, on land, and cyberspace, the Navy said Friday in a statement.

Participants will demonstrate a warfighting capabilities and flexibility of U.S. naval fleet operations, as well as integration of joint forces, notably maritime security operations, anti-submarine and air-defense exercises, amphibious operations, and other elements of complex warfighting.

Although U.S. troops often are involved in exercises with armed forces of other countries, Valiant Shield is specifically a U.S.-only program.

The Navy noted that this year, extraordinary measures will be enforced against the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

“Exercises such as Valiant Shield allow U.S. forces the opportunity to integrate warfighting concepts such as all-domain strike group operations in a joint high end warfare training environment to continuously improve joint lethality,” said Rear Adm. Michael Boyle of the U.S.Pacific Fleet. “It is vitally important that we demonstrate to our allies and partners our strong commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

The participating forces will exercise a wide range of warfighting capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility and capability of U.S. naval fleet operations and integration of joint forces. The range of capabilities on display will include maritime security operations, anti-submarine and air-defense exercises, amphibious operations, and other elements of complex warfighting.

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