NAVY WIRE SERVICE (NWS) - 21 January 1999 - NWS21jan-2. USS Theodore Roosevelt CVBG, USS Kearsarge ARG to conduct Joint Task Force Exercise by SECONDFLT Public Affairs NORFOLK (NWS) - More than 24,000 U.S. service members, as well as personnel and units from allied nations will participate in Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) 99-1, Feb. 12 - March 2. JTFEX 99-1 will take place in the waters off Virginia and North Carolina, as well as in the Puerto Rican and Jacksonville, Fla., operating areas. JTFEX 99-1 will feature the USS Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Battle Group (CVBG) and the USS Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group (ARG). In addition, the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, elements of the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army and a number of allied units will participate. The exercise will provide "graduated level" training for CVBG and ARG units prior to 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. They will train in a simulated high-threat environment that involves air, naval and ground operations, and incorporates surveillance, rescue and other operations such as maritime interdiction, embassy support and non-combatant evacuation. Participating forces will train using equipment and systems that incorporate the latest advances in technology, and 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," said Vice Adm. William J. Fallon, Commander, United States Second Fleet and Commander, Striking Fleet Atlantic. "This exercise provides our battle group and amphibious ready group units valuable experience in operations with forces of other services and other nations, while giving them an opportunity to refine joint and combined 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.'" Fallon will conduct the exercise. When in a training role, he is designated as Commander, Joint Task Force 950. In addition to U.S. forces, units from Great Britain, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Bolivia and Brazil will participate in the exercise. This kind of "combined" training enhances the readiness of both U.S. and allied forces, and is representative of the way nations often assign forces to deal with modern crises. JTFEX 99-1 incorporates a significant special operating forces (SOF) participation, as well. More than 2,500 personnel from Navy, Army and Air Force SOF units will come together during the exercise to practice many of the missions they may be called upon to perform in a joint task force environment. Within the JTFEX 99-1 exercise, a second exercise called TMDI-98 will demonstrate the transfer of the Joint Forces Air Component Commander and staff from an aircraft carrier at sea to a field environment ashore near Camp Lejeune, N.C. The goal of this related exercise will be to successfully support full air operations while completing the shift of functions ashore. -USN- -USN- -USN- NWS21jan-3. Mine warfare forces conduct exercise in Gulf of Mexico by Mine Warfare Command CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (NWS) -- The USS Inchon (MCS 12) Task Group, comprising Mine Warfare Command ships, aircraft and explosive ordnance detachments, is conducting a training exercise in the Gulf of Mexico. The exercise began Jan. 15 and concludes Jan. 24. Gulf of Mexico Exercise (GOMEX) 99-1 is the final exercise in preparation for an upcoming deployment of Inchon Task Group 99-1, where the group will exercise with allies in the Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian Gulf. Participants of GOMEX 99-1 are practicing integrated mine countermeasures operations using surface ships, helicopters and explosive ordnance disposal detachments. These ships, aircraft, and divers integrate unique capabilities, forming the mine countermeasures "triad." The Inchon Task Group is under the tactical control of Commander, Mine Countermeasures Squadron (COMCMRON) TWO. Units include Inchon, the Navy's only mine countermeasures command and control ship, with COMCMRON TWO embarked, USS Devastator (MCM 6), USS Scout (MCM 8), USS Champion (MCM 4), and USS Avenger (MCM 1). All units are based at Naval Station Ingleside, Texas. The air contingent of the Inchon Task Group consists of Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron Fifteen (HM-15), based at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, and Helicopter Combat Support Squadron Eight (HC-8), based in Norfolk. Other units include Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Mobile Unit Six, Detachment 4, based at Ingleside; Units 6 and 20, based in Charleston, S.C.; and EOD Mobile Unit Three, Detachment 11, based in Coronado, Ca. USS Pioneer (MCM 9), USS Warrior (MCM 10), USS Chief (MCM 14) and the coastal minehunter USS Black Hawk (MHC 58), all based at Ingleside, will also participate in the exercise under the operational control of COMCMRON THREE. COMCMRON TWO and THREE are also based at Naval Station Ingleside. -USN- -USN-