by Tech. Sgt. Brok McCarthy
Joint Information Bureau Public Affairs
9/23/2014 - ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- The
fifth iteration of Valiant Shield came to a close here Sept. 23 after
nine days of joint air, land and sea interoperability training between
the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army.
"Overall, Valiant Shield 2014 was a very successful exercise," said Navy
Rear Adm. Russell Allen, Valiant Shield exercise director. "Opposition
forces provided a robust challenge to our air, sea and cyber forces,
which enhanced our ability to function as a joint force and validated
the Air-Sea Battle concept. The lessons learned will help further the
development of tactics, techniques and procedures in the joint
environment, especially those for the Air-Sea-Battle concept."
The goal of Valiant Shield 2014 was to bring together more than 18,000
service members, 200 aircraft and 19 surface vessels to develop a
"pre-integrated" joint force built from habitual relationships. This
force builds interoperable and complementary cross-domain capabilities
and benefits from realistic, shared training enhancing the flexibility
to develop new tactics, techniques and procedures as operational
conditions dictate. Such forces provide the deterrence and stabilizing
effects of a force-in-being, ready at the outset of a contingency
without delays for buildups or extensive mission rehearsal.
During the air operation portions of the exercise, the Navy, Air Force
and Marine Corps completed scenarios that included simulated defensive
counter-air missions, strike missions, suppressions of enemy air
defenses, maritime interdiction, air-to-air refueling and command and
In addition, infantry Marines, along with Guam National Guardsmen,
conducted an island seizure exercise on Tinian Island, approximately 50
miles north of Guam. Marines were inserted on the island by two Ospreys
from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265, Marine Aircraft Group 36,
1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III MEF. Once on the beach, they encountered
opposition provided by Guam's Army National Guard, Company A, 1st
Battalion, 294th Infantry. Over the course of several days, the infantry
faced increasingly complicated scenarios while trying to capture an old
World War II-era compound.
Valiant Shield 2014 featured several firsts, including the deployment of
an Army Patriot missile battery, from the 1-1 Air Defense Artillery
Battalion, and the integration of the Task Force Talon terminal high
altitude area defense battery assets, previously deployed to Guam.
One of the many sea-based Valiant Shield scenarios was a live-fire sink
exercise, which sank the decommissioned USS Fresno (LST 1182) in waters
18,000 feet deep, approximately 215 nautical miles northeast of Guam.
Units from the Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps also participated in the
sinking exercise, firing a variety of ship-based and aircraft-based
weaponry to enhance tactical proficiency and targeting against a surface
target at sea.
The lessons learned from exercises like VS14 will assist the U.S. in
continuing to develop regional and global power projection capabilities
that provide a full range of options to succeed in defense of its
interests and those of its allies and partners around the world.
"Valiant Shield was extremely successful for gathering lessons learned
in a joint environment," said U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Andrew Toth,
Valiant Shield air boss. "Weather was an issue at the beginning, but
thanks to the hard work of some dedicated people, we were able to
accomplish all of our objectives. What we learned during Valiant Shield
will provide us invaluable improvements to the way we plan and execute