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NEWS | Aug. 17, 2023

USS Mount Whitney, U.S. Sixth Fleet support LSE23

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

For the past two weeks, the Blue Ridge-class command and control ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) and embarked Sixth Fleet staff conducted operations in the Mediterranean Sea while participating in Large Scale Exercise (LSE) 2023. LSE 2023 is a scenario-driven, globally integrated exercise providing high-end training at sea and ashore against a challenging, simulated adversary force. The exercise is taking place in the Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic Ocean, and Pacific Ocean from August 9-18, 2023. "LSE 2023 is the ultimate test and demonstration of the U.S. Navy's global operational capability," said Adm. Stuart B. Munsch, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa. "It showcases our capacity to rapidly employ combat forces in any theater, bringing to bear our Navy's full maritime mission capabilities to defend the U.S. homeland, our allies and our partners around the world." The goal of Mount Whitney's participation in LSE 2023 is to practice and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of Distributed Maritime Operations, Expeditionary Advanced-Base Operations, and Littoral Operations in a Contested Environment (LOCE). These are high-end warfare techniques that demonstrate the U.S. Navy's ability to meet global operational commitments, while continuing to operate, sail, and meet mission capabilities in the dynamic environments of the modern world. "The foundation of our service and commitment to a ready and able force rests on the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps' ability to effectively command and control our forces at sea and in the littorals," said Vice Adm. Thomas Ishee, commander U.S. Sixth Fleet. "LSE 2023 is a test of our tactics and strategies, as we continue to integrate modern warfare concepts on a global scale - a core competency we have been working hard at. Over the past year, we have demonstrated our ability to conduct distributed maritime operations with our Allies and Partners in Neptune Strike, Formidable Shield and Baltic Operations 2023. But these last two weeks have tested our ability to operate in a worldwide combat environment, ultimately evolving our capability to bring the integrated fighting force of the Navy and Marine Corps to the forefront of tomorrow's combat."

LSE 2023 is primarily supported by Sailors, Marines, Government civilian and contract employees assigned to command and training staffs throughout multiple theaters, but also includes naval assets, ranging from aircraft carriers to submarines, and an array of simulated constructive units. Participating units will span 22 time zones to include six naval and Marine Corps component commands, seven U.S. numbered fleets and two Marine Expeditionary Forces. LSE 2023 continues the situational and training objectives of LSE 2021, enhancing fleet readiness while demonstrating how U.S. Military's proficiencies have exponentially increased over the last two years. LSE 2021 was the first naval and amphibious large-scale exercise conducted since NATO's Ocean Venture exercise in 1981 during the Cold War. Mount Whitney is the U.S. Sixth Fleet flagship and operates with a combined crew of U.S. Sailors and Military Sealift Command civil service mariners. 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. 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. 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.