By Ensign Kelly Harris, USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) Public Affairs
Guided-missile destroyers USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) and USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) participated in NATO exercise Dynamic Guard 22-01, Feb. 22-25.
Dynamic Guard, hosted by Norway, is a bi-annual, multi-national NATO electronic warfare exercise series designed to provide tactical training for the NATO Response Force and NATO national units. The exercise is led by Maritime Command Headquarters (MARCOM) and supported by the NATO Joint Electronic Warfare Core Staff (JEWCS).
Unique in its making, the exercise is conducted with a number of individual events with increasing degrees of complexity for electronic warfare and anti-ship missile defense.
Air and missile defense (AMD) is a primary warfare area for Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers, and providing layered defense for units in company is a top priority for all NATO forces.
“It all comes down to training like we fight,” said Cmdr. James Diefenderfer, commanding officer of The Sullivans. “This exercise allowed us to plan, integrate and operate the full range of activities we need for electronic warfare, anti-ship missile defense and logistics in a complex environment.”
The multi-national exercise integrated the two U.S. Navy destroyers with Standing NATO Maritime Group (SNMG) 1, which includes German Navy replenishment ship FGS Berlin (A1411), Royal Netherlands Navy Karel Doorman-class multi-purpose frigate HNLMS Van Amstel (F831) and Royal Danish Navy Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate HDMS Peter Willemoes (F362).
The Norwegian Air Force provided surface units the ability to engage with live aircraft during realistic training scenarios. The conduct of large scale, multi-national exercises across all military domains ensures the readiness and interoperability of NATO Allies and partners and their ability to respond to a broad range of threats.
For the first time in three years, two U.S. vessels participated in Dynamic Guard in an effort to enhance the ongoing cooperation, strength and interoperability between the NATO Allies.
During the exercise, Donald Cook and The Sullivans conducted a replenishment-at-sea with replenishment ship Berlin, further demonstrating that interoperability and NATO’s ability to keep forces on-station.
“It's important that NATO maintains an exemplary level of readiness in order to provide assurance to Allies and to deter and defend against threats from any direction,” said Cmdr. Matthew Curnen, commanding officer of Donald Cook.
The dynamic nature of the European theater demonstrates the importance of maintaining advanced warfighting capabilities across all domains. NATO remains postured to deter – and if required, defend against – any threat to Alliance territory and populations.
The Standing NATO Maritime Groups are a ready force, continuously available to NATO to perform tasks ranging from exercises to operational missions. The Sullivans and Donald Cook are operating in the European theater of operations and participating in a range of maritime activities in support of the U.S. 6th Fleet and NATO Allies.