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NEWS | July 27, 2021

Mount Whitney and Sixth Fleet underway for LSE

By U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. Sixth Fleet Public Affairs

USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) and embarked Sixth Fleet staff sailed from Gaeta to prepare for Large Scale Exercise (LSE) 2021, July 27.

LSE 2021 is scheduled for August 3-16 and will be a scenario-driven, globally integrated exercise that will provide high-end training at sea and ashore against a challenging adversary force.

“Command-at-sea forms the foundation of our naval service.” said Vice Adm. Gene Black, commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet. “LSE will test our commanders across the spectrum of naval warfare from the tactical to the strategic, integrating the Marine Corps to demonstrate the world-wide fleet’s ability to conduct coordinated operations from the open ocean to the littoral.”

LSE 2021 will demonstrate the flexibility inherent within Distributed Maritime Operations (DMO), Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations (EABO), and Littoral Operations in a Contested Environment (LOCE) signaling to our competitors the U.S. military remains ready at the high–end of warfare expressly because of its global operational commitments, rather than in spite of them.

LSE 2021 will include approximately 36 live ships underway ranging from aircraft carriers to submarines, over 50 virtual units and an unlimited array of constructive units in addition to the Sailors, Marines, Government civilian and contract employees assigned to command and training staffs providing support to the exercise. Participating units will span 17 time zones to include six naval and Marine Corps component commands, five U.S. numbered Fleets and three Marine Expeditionary Forces.

LSE 2021 is the first naval and amphibious large-scale exercise conducted since the Ocean Venture NATO exercises launched in 1981 during the Cold War. Those exercises simultaneously demonstrated NATO resolve and simulated new U.S. maritime capabilities in the acquisition process. The intent is the same for LSE 2021, within the context of modern warfare and during an era of strategic competition. The first LSE is U.S.-only with future iterations planned to include allies and partners.

Mount Whitney, forward deployed to Gaeta, Italy operates with a combined crew of Sailors and Military Sealift Command civil service mariners in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe and 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.