Navy completes largest synthetic training exercise

Published on LEUT Jai Coppen (author), ABIS Chantell Bianchi (photographer)

Topic(s): Exercises

Fleet Synthetic Training - Joint 15-72 built on the success of TRITON SIMULATION in 2014, pictured here. (photo: ABIS Chantell Bianchi)
Fleet Synthetic Training - Joint 15-72 built on the success of TRITON SIMULATION in 2014, pictured here.

The largest tactical synthetic exercise in Royal Australian Navy history has been conducted with the United States Navy recently.

Ships and simulators world-wide were linked for the virtual training exercise, known as Fleet Synthetic Training - Joint 15-72.

Two carrier strike groups, an expeditionary strike group, six composite task forces, thirteen United States and Australian surface combatants, three United States Maritime Patrol Aircraft simulators, one submarine simulator, and multiple Air Force/Army staffs and units were involved in the synthetic maritime warfare training exercise.

HMA Ships Melbourne, Arunta, Sydney, Stirling and Watsonwith representatives from the Fleet Air Arm and Sea Combat Command took part with players in Hawaii, Okinawa, Washington State, California, New Mexico and Georgia.

Designed to test strike force-level warfare proficiency and develop interoperability between the participating nations, the exercise built on the success of Exercise TRITON SIMULATION in 2014 and provided a realistic insight into Task Group Operations.

Commodore Warfare, Commodore Peter Leavy, said the distributed Synthetic Training realised its goal.

“Fleet Synthetic training has provided an insight into task group requirements in a high end war fighting scenario off the Australian station and has provided us with the ability to operate with a large number of US Commands,” he said.

During the training, Arunta conducted a simulated Harpoon Block II firing against a time sensitive land target, and Melbourne executed duties as Surface Action Group Commander including Sector Air Defence Commander over United States Navy units. 

The extent of the maritime and air pictures maintained by the Nimitz Strike Group was eye-opening for many operators who had not worked on that scale before.

“The training underlines the importance of coalition operations and highlights the value that synthetic training offers to the Navy today and in the future,” Commodore Leavy said.

Synthetic training with international forces will feature more heavily as the Navy moves to realise its future force.

“Fleet Synthetic Training will be a key component of the Force Generation Campaign Plan, which will be used to drive the realisation of an amphibious-ready group in 2017.”