By Lt. Ashley Eves and 1st Lt Zachary Bodner
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) is sailing as part of the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth Carrier Strike Group for Exercise Joint Warrior 20-2.
Exercise Joint Warrior 20-2 is a U.K.-hosted, multilateral training exercise designed to provide NATO and Allied forces with a unique multi-warfare environment to prepare for global operations.
“This deployment is only possible because of the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom,” said U.S. Marine Corps Col. Simon Doran, U.S. senior national representative to the U.K.’s carrier strike group. “As we continue training during Joint Warrior in preparation for a global deployment this spring, would be adversaries should be weary of the lethal capabilities the USS The Sullivans brings to the carrier strike group.”
The exercise incorporates surface, subsurface, airborne, and land assets, providing joint training in a multi-threat environment for NATO units, and a certification of forward-deployed naval forces (FDNF), preparing them to operate as part of a Combined/Joint Task Force.
“Fast, agile and well-armed, USS The Sullivans is a true greyhound of the seas,” said Commodore Steve Moorhouse, commander of the British carrier strike group. “Her name bears testament to the heroic traditions of the U.S. Navy, and the Royal Navy is fortunate to have her by our side. As the United States looks to its partners to help shoulder the burden of our shared security, the advent of the Queen Elizabeth-class carriers is proof that the United Kingdom is ready and able to do just that. With a sovereign British core, and our closest allies integrated throughout, the U.K. carrier strike group is not just a new capability for the United Kingdom; it is a new capability for NATO and for the United States too. We look forward to working alongside USS The Sullivans over the coming weeks and months.”
The other U.S. participants include the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) and USS Ross (DDG 71), two P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft (MPRA), one Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship USNS Medgar Evers (T-AKE-13), along with U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II aircraft assigned of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211 and a detachment from 2d Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company embarked aboard the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth (R 08).
“It is an honor to sail in this elite, multinational strike group on the frontline, demonstrating a fully integrated force that showcases the special relationship that our countries have,” said Commanding Officer of The Sullivans, Cmdr. David Burkett. “The Sullivans' namesakes would be extremely proud of us as we boldly show that ‘We Stick Together!’”
JW 20-2’s participants include Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the U.K., and the U.S.
The Sullivans was commissioned April 19, 1997, in Staten Island, New York, and is homeported in Mayport, Florida. The ship is named in honor of the five Sullivans brothers, who served together aboard USS Juneau (CL 52) during World War II and lost their lives during the Battle of Guadalcanal on Nov. 13, 1942, when Juneau was sunk by a Japanese submarine.
U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. Sixth Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.