By Lt. Ken Hagihara, NR Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet participated in training exercise Ardent Sentry 15 (AS15), May 11-15.
A Joint Exercise Program (JEP) led by North American Aerospace Defense (NORAD) and U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), AS15 is conducted primarily as an exercise focused on defense support of civil authorities (DSCA).
AS15 provides a highly complex, integrated training environment where federal, state and local emergency responders practice the procedures and validate the processes that would be implemented during times of crisis or emergency. The exercise simulated a catastrophic magnitude 7.8 earthquake that impacted eight Southern California counties.
According to Lt. Cmdr. Todd Stansfield, U.S. 3rd Fleet Maritime Command Element (MCE) future operations officer, 3rd Fleet served as the command element for all naval forces responding to the disaster simulated during AS15.
Addressing the role of 3rd Fleet in support of the overall DSCA mission, he explained, "We are responsible for the planning, exercising, and execution of disaster response operations in support of FEMA in California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii."
Stansfield said the 3rd Fleet MCE team supporting AS15 was comprised of DSCA-trained active duty and reserve personnel from a wide variety of designators who brought valuable knowledge and expertise to successfully support and execute the requirements in the various exercise scenarios, focused in particular on search and rescue operations.
Other Navy participants included Commander, Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Pacific (HSCWP), Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 3, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group (EODGRU) 1, Naval Construction Group (NCG) 1, and Navy Region Southwest (NRSW).
Joint, interagency and international relationships strengthen U.S. 3rd Fleet's ability to respond to crises and protect the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners.