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Strike Eagles participate in joint integration exercise with Navy

Two F-15E Strike Eagles fly over the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Gonzalez (DDG 66) during during an Aircraft Operations in Maritime and Surface Warfare exercise, July 24, 2019. Gonzalez is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the Western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Maxwell Anderson/Released)

Two F-15E Strike Eagles fly over the guided-missile destroyer USS Gonzalez (DDG 66) during aircraft operations in maritime and surface warfare exercise, July 24, 2019. Gonzalez is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific Ocean through the Western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Maxwell Anderson)

ARABIAN GULF (AFNS) --

U.S. Air Forces Central Command F-15E Strike Eagles attached to the 336th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron participated in an air operations in maritime surface warfare integration exercise with the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command USS Gonzalez (DDG 66) and a P-3 Orion in the Arabian Gulf, July 24.

“This unit-level exercise reinforced integration of U.S. Air Force assets in support of U.S. Navy surface combatants,” said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Adrian Willing, 609th Air Operations Center Master Air Attack Plan Cell planner. “This training reinforces the very real-world missions they are already conducting.”

The F-15Es are based out of Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, while the USS Gonzalez is assigned to Commander Task Force-55 and the P-3C Orion is assigned to the CTF-57 based out of Bahrain.

“The P-3C provides maritime domain awareness, can also function as a maritime air controller with long loiter times or employ its own weapons as required,” Willing said. “The USS Gonzalez is operating in the Arabian Gulf to guarantee international freedom of navigation.”

While the scenarios were simulated, the team practiced real world tactics, techniques and procedures to execute joint interoperability in maritime air control and dynamic targeting.

“By exercising the full operational process, we can identify and correct any issues that would slow or hinder rapid combat capability and seamless integration,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Benjamin Davidson, AFCENT Forces Division chief. “This builds a closer relationship between NAVCENT and AFCENT, that we can utilize when called upon to execute real-world operations. The improved lines of joint communication and coordination will further facilitate seamless execution during combat operations.”

The demonstration of flexible and adaptable joint operations shows U.S. military forces are even stronger together and prepared to respond to contingencies and defend the U.S. forces and interests in the region.

“This exercise demonstrated our ability to conduct operations in multiple domains simultaneously,” Davidson said. “When integrated properly, the combined strength of these assets is greater than their sum. We multiply the effects by creating increasingly complex challenges to the malign activities of our adversaries.

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