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By Petty Officer 2nd Class Richard Rodgers
Pilots assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, the offensive air and strike component of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10 and the George H.W. Bush CSG, participated in a Tactical Leadership Program (TLP) at Albacete Air Base, Spain, Feb. 13 – March 3, 2023.
TLP is a joint exercise designed to teach NATO partner aircrews to train and operate together.
TLP participants were exposed to challenging scenarios that included current and emerging threats that all NATO countries may see in the future. The participants were charged with planning and executing missions on a compressed schedule.
“This program allows aircrew to mission plan, brief, execute, and debrief complex missions together in one single location, which is an opportunity we do not often have,” said Lt. Cmdr. Richard Tiberio, TLP liaison for CVW-7. “The more frequently we integrate with our NATO allies during international exercises, the better prepared we will be when required to face NATO adversaries in a potential warfare scenario.”
In addition to Spanish pilots, the program hosted participants from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, and the United States.
“"CVW-7 remains committed to training and operating with our NATO allies in this critical time in theater," said Capt. Thomas Bodine, commander, CVW-7. "The TLP detachment was another fantastic display of the strength and interoperability that NATO air forces can employ in peacetime, in crisis, or, if necessary, in combat."
The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) is the flagship of CSG-10, George H.W. Bush CSG. CSG-10 is comprised of George H.W. Bush, 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 the George H.W. Bush are the “Sidewinders” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 86, the “Jolly Rogers” of VFA-103, the “Knighthawks” of VFA-136, the “Pukin Dogs” of VFA-143, the “Bluetails” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121, the “Patriots” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 140, the “Nightdippers” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 5, and the “Grandmasters” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 46.
For over 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-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 and U.S. Africa Command 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.
The George H.W. Bush CSG is on a scheduled deployment in the NAVEUR area of operations, employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet to defend U.S., allied, and partner interests.