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CHIPS Articles: Navy Continuous Training Environment Supports First Rota-based Ship BMD Certification

Navy Continuous Training Environment Supports First Rota-based Ship BMD Certification
By Jennifer Werner - July-September 2016
USS Ross (DDG-71), an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer home-ported in Rota, Spain, has met a significant milestone for the Forward Deployed Naval Forces-Europe (FDNF-E) by being the first ship to complete a Ballistic Missile Defense Exercise (BMDEX) in Rota. The June 24, 2016 feat was made possible through the Navy Warfare Development Command’s Navy Continuous Training Environment (NCTE) and the support of NWDC’s Rota team.

Through the use of NCTE distributed training services, USS Ross, one of the four FDNF-E ships serving as part of Destroyer Squadron SIX ZERO (CDS 60), was able to earn Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) re-certification after conducting simulation-based training while pier-side at the ship’s homeport during the recent BMDEX 16-09.

A three-day event, BMDEX 16-09 was part of a monthly exercise program that grants BMD certifications to participants who successfully complete a wide variety of training scenarios from various notional operating areas. These exercises provide participants a realistic and cost-effective means of communicating with assets and conducting simulated maneuvers and tactics around different regions of the world where ballistic missiles might potentially be encountered. Ultimately, the training in this synthetic environment allowed USS Ross to successfully prepare for one of its primary missions, the defense against ballistic missiles in Europe.

Additionally, the flexibility and adaptability of the NCTE architecture was demonstrated in the seamless transfer of Officer Conducting the Exercise duties between Tactical Training Group Pacific (TTGP) and Tactical Training Group Atlantic (TTGL). In response to a severed network cable in San Diego, TTGL picked up responsibility for the exercise and prevented interruption of the ship and watch-stander training.

This certification is just one of the many accomplishments facilitated under the NCTE Field Office Rota team led by NWDC support contractor Steve Manzo. Combat Systems Training Lead at Destroyer Squadron SIX ZERO Master Chief Fire Controlman Joel Conrad said, “Since the inception of FNDF-E, NCTE Detachment Rota has been key to several events.” These included the first Cruise Missile Qualifications in Spain, the first Dual Warfare Certification for both USS Donald Cook (DDG-75) and USS Ross, critical communication checks onboard ships for pre-patrol readiness, and testing of the Navy's new Shipboard Electronic Systems Evaluation Facility in Rota. “In fact, the exercise we just completed literally spanned the globe from Hawaii to Romania and culminated in the first ever combined BMD Qualification and BMD Sustainment Certification,” Master Chief Conrad said.

The BMD certification along with the associated exercise was made possible with the support of the NWDC’s Mobile Technical Team which operates worldwide from TTGL, TTGP, TTGP Detachment Yokosuka, Japan, and NCTE Field Office Rota, and reach-back support from the Navy Center for Advanced Modeling and Simulation located at NWDC in Norfolk, Virginia.

Commissioned in 1997, USS Ross is no stranger to combat operations having supported Operation ALLIED FORCE through Tomahawk missile strikes in Kosovo in 1999 and providing air defense in Operation Enduring Freedom post-terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. The BMD re-certification will help pave the way for a safer and stronger FDNF-E fleet.

For more news from Navy Warfare Development Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/nwdc/.

SOUDA BAY, Greece (June 29, 2016) USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) departs Souda Bay, Greece. Cook, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is conducting a routine patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe.  U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert S. Price/Released
SOUDA BAY, Greece (June 29, 2016) USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) departs Souda Bay, Greece. Cook, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is conducting a routine patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe. U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert S. Price/Released

BLACK SEA (July 27, 2016) USS Ross (DDG 71) conducts small boat operations during Sea Breeze. The exercise is an air, land and maritime exercise designed to improve maritime safety, security and stability in the Black Sea. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Theron J. Godbold/Released
BLACK SEA (July 27, 2016) USS Ross (DDG 71) conducts small boat operations during Sea Breeze. The exercise is an air, land and maritime exercise designed to improve maritime safety, security and stability in the Black Sea. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Theron J. Godbold/Released
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