The Blue Ridge-class command and control ship USS Mount Whitney, pictured in port in Gaeta, Italy, starts the Large Scale Exercise 2021 on Tuesday with 35 other U.S. ships and personnel from the Navy and Marine Corps. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Damon Grosvenor/U.S. Navy
Aug. 3 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy on Tuesday began Large Scale Exercise 2021, the first iteration of the United States-only exercise, which is meant to demonstrate global readiness, the branch announced.
The U.S. Fleet Forces Command, U.S. Pacific Fleet and U.S. Navy Forces Europe, kicked off the training in areas of responsibility Tuesday, which will continue through Aug. 16.
The USS Mount Whitney last week sailed from Italy last week to join 35 other Navy vessels, virtual units and personnel from across the Navy and Marine Corps for the exercise.
The globally integrated LSE event across multiple fleets aims to provide high-end training at sea and ashore and to show how maritime operations synchronize in support of the joint force.
It is based on a progression of fleet battle problems and scenarios to assess and redefine modern warfare concepts, including distributed maritime operations, expeditionary advanced base operations, and littoral operations in a contested environment, according to Navy officials.
The exercise also will include evaluations of experimental technology, such as unmanned technologies and vessels.
"LSE is more than just training; it is leveraging the integrated fighting power of multiple naval forces to share sensors, weapons, and platforms across all domains in contested environments, globally," U.S. Fleet Forces Command Adm. Christopher Grady said in a Navy press release.
LSE 2021 is the biggest naval and amphibious large-scale exercise conducted since the Ocean Venture NATO exercises launched in 1981 during the Cold War.
Those exercises demonstrated NATO resolve and simulated new U.S. maritime capabilities, and the intent is the same for LSE 2021, within the context of modern warfare, officials say.
It is also the first iteration of what will become a triennial exercise with plans to include allies and partners.
"The LSE 2021 is part of an ongoing series of exercises that demonstrates the U.S. Navy's ability to employ precise, lethal, and overwhelming forces globally across three naval component commands, five numbered fleets, and 17 time zones," the Navy said.