US Navy small craft attack exercise aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64), exercise Joint Warrior 19-1 (March 31, 2019)

Joint Warrior 19-1 Update

Testing NATO’s Core Maritime Capability

Joint Warrior 19 is NATO’s two-week, multinational training exercise led by Joint Tactical Exercise Planning Staff from the United Kingdom and is intended to provide forces with a variety of joint training scenarios that explore real world challenges.

Standing NATO Maritime Group One

Sailors from Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One (SNMCMG1) completed the first half of exercise Joint Warrior 19-1 on 5 April.

SNMG1 is currently composed of the U.S. flagship guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely (DDG 107), the German navy replenishment tanker FGS Rhoen (A 1443), the Danish support ship HDMS Absalon (L16), the British frigate HMS Westminster (F237), the Spanish frigate ESPS Almirante Juan de Borbon (F 102),the Turkish frigate TCG Gokova (F 496) and the Polish guided-missile frigate ORP General K. Pulaski (FrR 272) and is one of four standing maritime task groups composed of ships from various Allied countries. These task groups form the core maritime capability of NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF). They provide a continuous maritime capability to execute NATO missions across the spectrum of operations, demonstrate solidarity, and strengthen diplomatic and professional links among Allied naval forces.

Danish Navy HDMS Absalon (L16) Standing NATO Maritime Group 1, on Joint Warrior (NATO, 2019)

Danish Navy HDMS Absalon (L16) Standing NATO Maritime Group 1, on Joint Warrior (NATO, 2019)

“As a Standing Maritime Group responder, participating in exercises like Joint Warrior is crucial to our mission,” said Lt. Douglas Swartz, a SNMG1 Battle Watch Captain. “We are the first to be activated in a real-world scenario so sharpening our skills with our allies is imperative. Participating in this exercise shows the multi-national commitment to NATO is still important, relevant, and stronger than ever.”

With SNMG1 and SNMCMG1 reaching the halfway mark, they have completed multiple complex warfare events including training designed to test air warfare, surface, and mine clearance skills.

“We participated in an evolution that had us working in tandem with SNMCMG1 protecting them from low slow flying aircraft while they were looking for mines in the area,” said Swartz. “Also, we had many Fast Inshore Attack Craft simulate attacking the ship while we defended ourselves against them.”

Royal Navy HMS Kent, HMS Ambush and a German P3C Orion on Exercise Joint Warrior (Crown Copyright, 2019)

Royal Navy HMS Kent, HMS Ambush and a German P3C Orion on Exercise Joint Warrior (Crown Copyright, 2019)

USS Carney

US Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney  (DDG 64) practiced small attack craft and “visit, board, search, and seizure” drills as part of Joint Warrior. USS Carney is currently forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, on its sixth patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of regional allies and partners as well as U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa.

Celebrating NATO 70

“What better way for NATO to celebrate 70 years as a force than with 10,000 Sailors and 33 ships from different counties coming together off the coast of Scotland to take part in Joint Warrior 19-1,” said Rear Adm. Edward Cashman, Commander SNMG1. “Joint Warrior is such an important exercise for SNMG1 and NATO because it provides a challenging environment for us to train and work together as a large force, demonstrating our critical ability to operate in a complex environment to achieve the collective security that has been the mission of the Alliance for 70 years.”


Source: NATO Allied Maritime Command and other sources.

Featured Image: US Navy small craft attack exercise aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64), exercise Joint Warrior 19-1 (March 31, 2019), US Navy photograph.