U.S. Military Exercises 

Types of Exercises
Overview
Exercises
WESTPAC Exercises
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Training and exercise programs are key to maintaining unit readiness and combat effectiveness. Each of the Services maintains excellent combat training centers where realistic joint large-scale, live-fire exercises are held. Significant resources have been invested in capabilities that permit direct assessment of large-scale, force-on-force engagements.

Types of Exercises

CPX command post exercises An exercise in which the forces are simulated, involving the commander, his staff, and communications within and between participating headquarters.

CTX combined training exercises A training exercise that is jointly conducted by military forces of more than one nation.

CALFEX combined arms live fire exercises Combat exercise in which an Army/Marine Corps combined arms team, in combat formation, conducts a coordinated combat firing and maneuver practice in executing the assault, seizure, and defense of appropriate objectives. Tactical air support may be included.

FTX field training exercisesA high-cost, high-overhead exercise conducted under simulated combat conditions in the field. It exercises command and control of all echelons in battle functions against actual or simulated opposing forces. An exercise conducted in the field under simulated war conditions in which troops and armament of one side are actually present, while those of the other side may be imaginary or in outline.

FCX fire coordination exercises A medium-cost, reduced-scale exercise that can be conducted at platoon, company/team, or battalion/task force level. It exercises command and control skills through the integration of all organic weapon systems, as well as indirect and supporting fires. Weapon densities may be reduced for participating units, and subcaliber devices substituted for service ammunition.

LOGEX logistics exercises An exercise which concentrates on training tasks associated � with the combat service support battlefield operating system.

MAPEX map exercises A low-cost, low-overhead training exercise that portrays miltiary situations on maps and overlays that may be supplemented with terrain models and sand tables. It enables commanders to train their staffs in performing essential integrating and control functions under simulated wartime conditions.

STX situational training exercises A mission-related, limited exercise designed to train one collective task, or a group of related tasks or drills, through practice.

STAFFEX staff exercises A training exercise in which the principal and special staffs organize for war (command posts and cells) and train MTP wartime missions.

TOCEX tactical operations center exercises An exercise in which the command group and staff practice setting up and establishing the command posts.

Overview

The Army operates the National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin, California, the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Polk, Louisiana, and the Combat Maneuver Training Center (CMTC) at Hohenfels, Germany. Instrumented field exercises are used at each of these locations to improve the readiness of battalion and brigade-sized units. These training opportunities build on home-station training, which is limited by range availability. The Army will train 10 heavy brigades in FY 1998 at the NTC and 10 light brigades at the JRTC, while providing annual training opportunities at the CMTC for all of its European-based infantry and armor battalions.

The Air Force conducts three Red Flag/Green Flag exercises annually at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. In addition to providing training for Navy/Marine Corps and coalition forces, these exercises provide composite force package training for Air Force tactical aircraft squadrons on about an 18-month rotational basis. Air Force units conduct similar training in annual Maple Flag combined-force exercises held in Canada.

The Navy participates in about 175 unit exercises annually. Ninety percent of these exercises involve operations with other U.S. or multinational forces. These deployments improve the ability of naval forces to conduct forward presence missions and to operate effectively as part of a joint or combined force. In addition, the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center in Fallon, Nevada, conducts four to five exercises annually for carrier air wings. This program provides predeployment integrated strike training for naval aviation units.

The Marine Corps conducts 10 to 12 combined-arms exercises annually at Twenty-Nine Palms, California. These drills provide combined-arms training and combat readiness evaluations for Marine tactical air and assault support squadrons operating in support of ground forces. In the case of ground forces, eight active and two reserve infantry battalions, plus associated combat support and combat service support elements, train each year at the Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center at Twenty-Nine Palms. Marine expeditionary units (special operations capable) undergo intense, 26-week predeployment training, during which they conduct operations both ashore and at sea.

Exercises

Exercise Cooperation From The Sea 96, conducted in Vladivostok [Russia], included both amphibious and at-sea training for U.S. and Russian naval forces. In addition, elements of the America (CV 66) carrier battle group and Wasp (LHD 1) amphibious ready group conducted bilateral operations with a Russian carrier battle group in the Mediterranean. These interactions continued to build on the positive foundation laid in 1995 and set the stage for further cooperation between our naval forces. U.S. naval forces also participated in the Russian Navy's 300th anniversary celebrations in St. Petersburg [Russia] and Kaliningrad [Russia].

Central and Eastern Europe. . The Partnership for Peace (PfP) program continued to be the centerpiece of NATO's strategic relationship with Central and Eastern Europe. Naval forces conducted four major PfP exercises with Eastern European nations. These operations, part of our bilateral military-to-military contacts program, included basic seamanship exercises and familiarization visits with the naval forces of the region. Units from the Sixth Fleet, including assigned Marine expeditionary forces, conducted fleet and amphibious training exercises with forces from Romania, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Albania and Georgia. The training exercise BALTOPS 96 was conducted in the Baltic Sea and involved a record 43 ships from 12 countries, including the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Gallatin (WHEC 721).

Cooperative Osprey 96. This 19-nation exercise was conducted at Camp Lejeune, N.C., with the commanding general, Marine Forces Atlantic, as the exercise director. Part of the PfP program, this exercise focused on military operations other than war. Exercise objectives included developing procedures to form and train coalition forces for peacetime operations in the littorals. The first visit by Ukrainian navy ships to the United States in September was particularly significant. These vessels conducted amphibious training with Atlantic Fleet units at Norfolk, Va. Black Sea Operations. Marines conducting training with forces from Romania, Ukraine and Bulgaria made a major contribution in building Black Sea alliances and furthering PfP efforts in the region. Forward-deployed, self-sustaining amphibious task forces can exploit excellent opportunities for initial bilateral training with the armed forces of emerging democracies.

UNITAS 96. The 37th annual UNITAS deployment is a primary means of supporting regional stability in the Western Hemisphere. Active and reserve surface combatants, P-3C aircraft, Marines embarked in an amphibious combatant and a submarine joined to conduct multinational exercises with South American nations while circumnavigating the continent during a five-month period. This year, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, South Africa and the Netherlands also participated during certain phases of the deployment. Our naval forces operate with host nation air, sea and land forces during each Latin American stop. These exercises often provide the only opportunity for Latin American forces to train with U.S. and other allied forces. For example, UNITAS Marines participated in four amphibious exercises and two riverine exercises in the nine-nation, 27-city deployment. The two riverine exercises provided an invaluable foundation for the expanded riverine training occurring with South American allies through the recently established Riverine Center for Excellence. In addition, this year embarked explosive ordnance detachments experienced real-world training while searching for voice and data flight recorders from AeroPeru Flight 603 after the aircraft crashed off the coast of Lima, Peru, in October.

CARAT 96. Regional stability in Southeast Asia is supported by the Pacific Fleet's Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) program, patterned after the UNITAS deployment. Active and reserve surface combatants, maritime patrol aircraft, a special purpose Marine air-ground task force embarked in amphibious combatants, medical detachments and a U.S. Coast Guard training detachment exercise with six countries in the South China Sea region for two months each year. In 1996, Brunei, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore participated. During each stop, our naval forces exercised with the host nation's air, sea and land forces. The objectives for each phase were to promote regional maritime interoperability, increase readiness, enhance military-to-military relations and ensure stability of Southeast Asian sea lanes of communication.

Rim-of-the-Pacific 1996 (RIMPAC 96) is a biennial exercise designed to enhance interoperability and proficiency of multinational and bilateral forces operating in response to short-notice littoral missions. More than 28 ships and 1,200 Marines -- including the Independence (CV 62) and Kitty Hawk (CV 63) carrier battle groups, the Essex (LHD 2) amphibious ready group with the 11th MEU(SOC) embarked and U.S. Coast Guard vessels -- participated in RIMPAC 96. An additional 29 ships from Australia, Canada, Chile, Korea and Japan were involved in the exercise. In addition to embarked carrier air wings, U.S. Air Force and Hawaiian Air National Guard and maritime patrol aircraft from the United States, Canada and Japan also participated.

West African Training Cruise (WATC 96) is an annual exercise conducted to provide interaction between U.S. naval forces and host nation counterparts, enhance military training and maintain familiarity with the West African littoral environment. U.S. Marine Corps and Coast Guard personnel embarked in amphibious ship Tortuga (LSD 46) conducted training in Benin, Cape Verde, Cote D'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Senegal and Togo.

Sorbet Royal was a NATO-sponsored submarine escape-and-rescue exercise involving units from seven countries and observers from six other countries. Conducted in the Vestfjord area of Norway, the exercise successfully demonstrated an ability to coordinate a multinational rescue of the crew of a disabled submarine and marked real progress in the standardization of procedures and equipment.

Freedom Of Navigation. An essential element of U.S. foreign policy is ensuring free and safe transit through ocean areas and international air space as a matter of legal right -- not contingent upon the approval of adjacent countries. Naval forces are especially useful in demonstrating transit rights under international law. In 1996, Navy ships and aircraft conducted numerous freedom-of-navigation operations in or through areas where coastal nations have maintained excessive maritime claims in conflict with existing international law. The president, secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff all have emphasized the importance of these operations as an active component of U.S. policy.

WESTPAC EXERCISES

The following WESTPAC exercises are recurring and provide valuable training experience. First MAW is not limited to the exercises listed, nor is there a requirement to participate in every exercise. These exercises provide a major building block that we at MAG-12 OPERATIONS use to construct our TEEP:

  1. MARINE AIR GROUND TASK FORCE EXERCISES
    1. Ulchi Focue Lens. This JCS coordinated Command Post Exercise (CPX) is conducted to evaluate plans, procedures and communications systems available which provide for the combined defense of the Republic of Korea in accordance with current OPLANS.
      1. Although there are a number of key first MAW objectives for the CPX, two basic ones stand out. First, to familiarize new personnel with the intricacies of the CINC Combined Forces Command/United Nations Command and Air Component Command (ACC) structure and relationships . Second, to acquaint 1st MAW Marines with the ACC fragging procedures and the air fragging preperation/distribution requirements. This exercise also assists in preparing Wing participants for the subsequent Spirit Exercise.
      2. Actual 1st MAW deployment to Korea normally includes 1st MAW HQ (FWD) in Yechon/Pohang, a 1st MAW Headquarters Tactical Air Command Center liaison team in Osan/Taegu, and 1st MAW reps assigned to the III MEF Liaison Team at CP TANGO in Seoul. No actual 1st MAW aircraft deploy to Korea for the CPX.
    2. Beachcrest. A 1st MAW air command and control exercise in December, conducted in Okinawa, Japan. MACG-18 coordinates the Beachcrest exercises and integrates them with any existing exercise to effectively showcase the unique air-ground team capability of the Marine Corps as well as provide a comprehensive rehearsal of the complex procedures associated with controlling the conduct of an air war. Exercise WINGEX is a similar exercise of lesser complexity.
    3. Southern Frontier. A semi-annual (Mar-May and Aug-Oct MAG-12 deployment to RAAF Base Darwin Australia. The intent of the deployment is two fold: to take advantage of the best airspace and training ranges available in WESTPAC and to conduct Group sized OPERATIONS. In addition, Southern Frontier also encompasses participation in JCS directed exercises. Typically, MAG-12 will deploy with two squadrons and an EA-6B Detachment, "swapping out" squadrons halfway through the three month period.
  2. JOINT/COMBINED AIR-TO-AIR-TO-GROUND EXERCISES
    1. Cope North. Cope North exercises offer 1st MAW TACAIR squadrons/dets the opportunity to participate in joint/combined air-to-air training with USAF and JASDF in the vicinity of Misawa, Iwakuni and Okinawa. These 5-10 day exercises are normally conducted quarterly. The aim is to test and evaluate US/Japanese forces in the joint/combined defense of Japan in accordance with current OPLANS.
    2. Cope Jade. Cope Jade is a USAF/ROK joint/combined three to four day air defense/tactical offensive exercise using Korean Ranges. The exercise is conducted quarterly and is designed to test and evaluate the ROK Tactical Air Control System (KTACS) while conducting the ROK air campaign.
    3. ANNUALEX. Annualex is a joint/combined exercise with Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force. The exercise is designed to exercise U.S. and Japanese capability to protect designated sea lanes. Our squadrons are either assigned CAP missions to defend the fleet or interdiction missions to attack the fleet. EA-6B's are frequently tasked for ECM missions against Japanese/US Naval Forces.
    4. WASEX. War at Sea Exercises are conducted on a regular basis against U. S. Battle groups and threat SAG's. These "short notice" exercises are basically coordinated strikes involving AV-8, EA-6B, F/A-18, and KC-130 aircraft. They are characterized by intense mission planning, consideration of the real world threat scenario and precision mission execution. These high visibility exercises have enhanced the combat readiness of all COMSEVENTHFLT UNITS.
    5. Cornet West. Cornet West is the designator applied to the transpac movement of USMC aircraft.
    6. Yama Sakura. This is a semi-annual Corps level CPX cosponsored by the USARJ/IX Corps and the Japanese Self Defense of Japan scenario. Although our participation been limited in the past , indications are that the exercise will be expanded to full status in the future.
    7. Cobra Gold. This is a joint combined exercise with United States and Thailand forces. The exercise is designed to provide experience in planning, coordination of, and execution of an amphibious operation in support of a combined/joint task force.
    8. Anti-Surface Warfare Exercises (ASUWEX's). These are USCINPAC scheduled, COMSEVENTHFLT sponsored, joint surface, anti-surfacewarfare exercises conducted in a multi-threat environment. 1st MAW units are often invited to participate in these maritime exercises which normally take place in Japan, Philippine and China Seas.
    9. Freedom Banner. This is a JCS coordinated, CINPAC sponsored exercise centered around the utilization of Maritime Pre positioned Force (MPF) shipping. Acomposition evolution usually occurs between elements of MEF or 1st MEB and III MEF. In addition to exercise play, an actual off-load of MPF equipment normally occurs.
    10. Giant Warrior. PACAF coordinated joint exercise incorporating AMC assest as a part of large scales strikes. Conducted in Guam, the exercise includes escort, air defense, and live ordnance missions. 1st MAW participation is dependent on lift assets available.
    11. Harpoonex. COMSEVENTHFLT sponsored live missile firing exercise conducted in Guam. Harpoon, Harm, and Shrike participation is dependent upon available ordnance.
    12. Keen Edge/Sword. An annual JCS directed, CINCPAC scheduled, COMUSJAPAN sponsored CPX/FTX in Japan. It is designated to exercise, test, and evaluate U. S. and Japan Self-Defense Forces and to support OPLAN concepts. III MEF provides player cells to CPX. 1st MAW provides aviation units to FTX's.
    13. Pitch Black. A JCS coordinated, USCINPAC scheduled joint/bilateral air defense exercise conducted annually in Australia. 1st MAW participation is dependent on lift assets available.
    14. Sandgroper. A JCS coordinated, USCINCPAC scheduled joint/bilateral exercise in alternate years in Australia, its purpose is to exercise and evaluate maritime and air defense superiority operations.

Some of USCENTCOM's largest readiness exercises in 1994 were:

NATIVE FURY: The employment of afloat prepositioned equipment demonstrated readiness and mobility.

INTRINSIC ACTION: Illustrated the quick response capability of ground troops to fall in on prepositioned equipment ashore.

ULTIMATE RESOLVE: A multinational command post exercise that examined defense matters of concern to GCC nations and Gulf War western partners.

Able Archer
Action Express
Agile Provider
Agile Warrior
AHUAS Tara
Air Warrior
Bearhunter
Becoming Stronger
Blue Whale Five
Bold Thrust
Braveshield
Brim Frost
Cabanas
Caber Fire
Caber Ice
CALL Forward 90
Caltrop Force
Caltrop Tyro
Cascade Peak
Cascade Pine
Celtic Cross
Centurion Shield
Cobra Gold
Coronet Sentry
Corps Defender
Display Determination
Eagle's Talon
EMERALD EXPRESS (1st Marine Expeditionary Force exercise)
Emergency Deployment Readiness
Exca 3190
Flintlock
Freedom Banner
Fuertes Caminos
Gallant Eagle
Gallant Knight
Golden Pheasant
Golden Saber XII
Grecian Firebolt
Guardian Tiger
Infinite Moonlight
Intrinsic Action
Joint Warrior
Kangaroo
Keen Edge
Kindle Liberty
Knife Blade
Marne Battle
Mountain Shield
Ocean Venture
Operation Paid CRTE (Combat Rescue Training Exercise)
Optimal Focus
Peace Shield
Peaceful Eagle
Prairie Warrior
Purple Dragon
Reforger
Resolute Shamrock
Roadrunner
Rolling Thunder
Roving Sands
Sea Emergency Deployment Readiness
Solid Shield
Subject Matter Expert Exchange
Team Spirit
Ulchi Focus Lens
Warfighter
Wintex-Cimex
Yama Sakura