NAVY WIRE SERVICE (NWS) - April 28, 2000 -

NWS28apr-1. George Washington, Saipan battle groups to 
conduct Joint Task Force exercise

By 2nd Fleet Public Affairs 

    NORFOLK, Va. (NWS) -- More than 15,000 service members 
will participate in Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) 00-2, 
May 10-20. This exercise has been directed by the Commander 
in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command, Adm. Harold W. Gehman Jr. 
The exercise will be conducted by Vice Adm. William J. 
Fallon, commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet and commander, Striking 
Fleet Atlantic. When in a training role, he is designated as 
commander, Joint Task Force 950.
    Joint Task Force Exercise 00-2 will feature the USS 
George Washington (CVN 73) Carrier Battle Group (CVBG) and 
the USS Saipan (LHA 2) Amphibious Ready Group (ARG).
    This JTFEX replicates the emerging threats and 
operational challenges U.S. military forces may encounter 
around the world. The exercise is designed to meet the 
requirement for quality, realistic training to fully prepare 
our forces for joint operations when forward deployed. 
Participating forces will train using equipment and systems 
which incorporate the latest advances in technology, and 
which support the full range of capabilities that may be 
needed in various geographic areas where forces serve during 
their deployment.
    "This Joint Task Force Exercise will train operational 
units from all services in a battlefield environment that is 
designed to specifically prepare them for the types of 
challenges the military faces today," Fallon said. "It 
provides our battle group and amphibious ready group units 
valuable experience in operations with forces of other 
services, while giving them an opportunity to refine joint 
warfighting skills. It also provides a challenging test of 
their capabilities and completes the training and evaluation 
process which supports certifying the battle group and ARG 
as 'ready to deploy.'" 
    The exercise will take place in the waters off Virginia 
and North Carolina. It will provide "graduate level" 
training for CVBG and ARG units before their deployment. 
During the exercise, participating forces will be tested on 
their ability to deploy rapidly, conduct joint operations 
during a crisis and refine tactics, techniques and 
procedures in joint force operations.
    Forces will train in a simulated high-threat environment 
that involves air, naval and ground operations incorporating 
surveillance, rescue, and other operations such as maritime 
interdiction, embassy support and non-combatant evacuation.
    Participating in the JTFEX will be units from the U.S. 
Atlantic Fleet including the George Washington Carrier 
Battle Group and Saipan Amphibious Ready Group. In addition, 
the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and elements of the 
U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army will participate.
    Additional information on participating ships can be 
found online at or

NWS28apr-2. George Washington Battle Group will not train at 

By 2nd Fleet Public Affairs

    WASHINGTON (NWS) -- The George Washington Carrier Battle 
Group (GWBATGRU) will conduct a Joint Task Force Exercise 
(JTFEX) from May 10-20, primarily in the waters off Virginia 
and North Carolina. The battle group will not use the 
Atlantic Fleet Weapons Training Facility range on Vieques 
for the exercise.
    The Navy is committed to fulfilling the presidential 
directive to conduct training on the Vieques range at the 
first possible opportunity. Vieques remains the only 
Atlantic location where combined arms training and naval 
surface fire gunnery can take place. 
    The training conducted at Vieques, particularly the 
combined arms portion, is critical to combat readiness. It 
affords the most realistic and effective preparation for all 
aspects of the carrier battle group and amphibious readiness 
group personnel. 
    When the range at Vieques becomes available, the Navy 
will be eager to use it. Without Vieques, the combat 
readiness of our forces is diminished.
    Go to for 
more detailed information on participating ships.