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NEWS | Oct. 24, 2022

U.S. Sixth Fleet, George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group Participate in Mare Aperto 22-2

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Truxtun (DDG 103) and USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98), and U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft from Commander, Task Force 67 concluded their participation in the Italian-led, multilateral maritime exercise Mare Aperto in the Tyrrhenian Sea, Ionian Sea, Sardinian Channel, Strait of Sicily and Gulf of Taranto, Oct. 21, 2022.

Mare Aperto 22-2 is an Italian Navy-led, joint and combined high-end maritime exercise designed to test the combat readiness of participating forces through realistic, multi-domain training scenarios that promote interoperability and enhance the combined capabilities of NATO allies and partners participating in the exercise.

“Mare Aperto 22-2 is an extremely fast-paced exercise that has tested our force’s ability to flex, adapt and overcome obstacles each day,” said Cmdr. Lawrence Heyworth IV, commanding officer of Forrest Sherman. “The crew has participated in anti-submarine warfare exercises, air defense exercises, electronic warfare exercises, multiple replenishments-at-sea, and daily division tactics all while constantly communicating tactical signals. Dynamic and challenging exercises such as this one enhance interoperability and further strengthen relationships with our NATO Allies and Partners.”

U.S. forces worked and trained alongside French, Italian, German, and Spanish maritime forces and forces of NATO’s Standing NATO Maritime Groups (SNMG) throughout the exercise. Training events included amphibious operations, mine-countermeasure operations, anti-submarine warfare, anti-air warfare and anti-surface warfare scenarios that gave participating units the opportunity to respond to threats in a rapidly changing environment.  

"Mare Aperto is an exciting opportunity for Truxtun to operate and integrate with our NATO allies." Said Cmdr. Adam Miller, commanding officer of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun (DDG 103). "Our officers and crew are demonstrating great flexibility and resourcefulness in responding to the demands of such a large-scale exercise.  We enjoy learning from our embarked Marina Militare liaison officer and are very impressed by the Deutsche Marine crew of FGS Spessart during underway replenishment. Truxtun is flexing the full spectrum of her warfare capabilities and this is a welcome experience to work closely with our NATO allies."

USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98) is the flagship for Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2), a multinational integrated task group that projects a constant and visible reminder of the Alliance’s solidarity and cohesion afloat and provides the Alliance with a continuous maritime capability to perform a wide range of tasks, including exercises and real-world operations in periods of crisis and conflict.

“Each exercise provides another opportunity for my staff and I to self-assess, adjust, and implement new procedures to operate more efficiently and effectively with our NATO Allies and Partners,” said Rear Adm. Scott Sciretta, Commander, Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2). “Mare Aperto 22-2 has allowed us to work closely with our Italian Allies to execute another large-scale, multi-domain warfare exercise demonstrating our integrated total-domain maritime power across the entire Alliance.  The Task Group continues to excel as the maritime deterrent to our adversaries, maintaining a robust real-world recognized maritime picture.”

CSG-10, GHWBCSG, is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa area of operations, employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet to defend U.S., allied and partner interests.

George H.W. Bush is the flagship of CSG-10 and the GHWBCSG. CSG-10 is comprised of George H.W. Bush, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26, the Information Warfare Commander, and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55).

The ships of DESRON-26 within CSG-10 are the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Nitze (DDG 94), USS Farragut (DDG 99), USS Truxtun (DDG 103), and USS Delbert D. Black (DDG 119).

The squadrons of CVW-7 embarked aboard George H.W. Bush are the “Jolly Rogers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 103, the “Pukin Dogs” of VFA-143, the “Bluetails” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121, the “Nightdippers” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 5, the “Sidewinders” of VFA-86, the “Nighthawks” of VFA-136, the “Patriots” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 140, and the “Grandmasters” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 46.

For over 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) has forged strategic relationships with allies and partners, leveraging a foundation of shared values to preserve security and stability.

Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF, and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.