Exercise Valiant Shield is one of the largest United States military war games held in the Pacific Ocean. Until 2018, there have been seven Valiant Shield exercises since 2006. According to the Navy, Valiant Shield focuses on cooperation between military branches and on the detection, tracking, and engagement of units at sea, in the air, and on land in response to a wide range of missions.
The first exercise in 2006 involved 22,000 personnel, 280 aircraft, and 30 ships, including the supercarriers USS Kitty Hawk, USS Abraham Lincoln, and USS Ronald Reagan. It was the largest military exercise to be conducted by the United States in Pacific waters since the Vietnam War, and it was also the first time observers from the People's Republic of China were allowed to view U.S. wargames. The exercise marked the first of what will become biennial exercises involving different branches of the U.S. military.
Valiant Shield 2006 included Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard units. Air operations included thousands of sorties as well as in-air refuelings and parachute deployments. Aircraft from Valiant Shield deployed on missions ranging across the Pacific all the way to Alaska. Ships simulated anti-submarine warfare. Valiant Shield 2006 was the first time that three carrier strike groups had operated together in the Pacific in over ten years. Forces exercised a wide range of skills, including maritime interdiction; defense counter-air; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and command and control.
- 1 Observers
- 2 Participating forces
- 2.1 United States Navy
- 2.2 United States Air Force
- 2.3 United States Marine Corps
- 2.4 United States Coast Guard
- 3 References
- 4 External links
Observers from the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy were invited to attend, as were naval officers from India, Singapore, Japan, Australia, South Korea, Russia, Indonesia, and Malaysia. It was the first time observers from the People's Republic of China had ever been sent to observe U.S. war games. China sent a ten-person delegation, including one high-ranking officer each from its navy, army, and air force, as well as officials from its foreign ministry. According to USA Today, Chinese military observers said that observing the exercises gave them a better understanding of U.S. weapons and tactics. Rear Admiral Zhang Leiyu, leader of the delegation, called the visit to the war games near Guam "a positive step in China-U.S. military ties."
Military ties between the United States and China have not been close ever since a communist government came to power in China. Admiral William J. Fallon, the top U.S. commander in the Pacific, said it was "a start" that China accepted his invitation to observe the large-scale exercises. Fallon indicated before the exercises began that he expected China to reciprocate. However, neither Zhang or the Xinhua report gave any indication that such an invitation was forthcoming.
The following U.S. forces participated in Valiant Shield 2006:
- Joint Task Force 519 staff, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
- Joint Task Force 519 Joint Force Air Component Command, Kenney Headquarters, Hickam AFB, Hawaii
- Joint Task Force 519 Joint Force Maritime Component Command, aboard USS Blue Ridge
Carrier Strike Group Five/Kitty Hawk Carrier Strike Group
- USS Kitty Hawk, (CV-63), United States Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan
- Carrier Air Wing Five (CVW-5), Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan
- USS Cowpens, (CG-63), Yokosuka, Japan
- USS John S. McCain, (DDG-56), Yokosuka, Japan
- USS Vandegrift, (FFG-48), Yokosuka, Japan
- USS Lassen, (DDG-82), Yokosuka, Japan
- USS Curtis Wilbur, (DDG-54), Yokosuka, Japan
- USS Fitzgerald, (DDG-62), Yokosuka, Japan
- USS Abraham Lincoln, (CVN-72), Naval Station Everett, Wash.
- Carrier Air Wing Two (CVW-2), Naval Air Station Lemoore, California
- USS Mobile Bay, (CG-53), Naval Station San Diego, Calif.
- USS Shoup, (DDG-86), Everett, Wash.
- USS Russell, (DDG-59) Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
Carrier Strike Group Seven/Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group
- USS Ronald Reagan, (CVN-76), San Diego, Calif.
- Carrier Air Wing Fourteen (CVW-14), Lemoore, Calif.
- USS Decatur, (DDG-73), San Diego, Calif.
- USS Lake Champlain, (CG-57), San Diego, Calif.
- USS McCampbell, (DDG-85), San Diego, Calif.
- USNS Rainier, (T-AOE-7), Naval Base Bremerton, Washington
- USS Blue Ridge, (LCC-19), Yokosuka, Japan
- USS Houston, (SSN-713), Guam
- USS Honolulu, (SSN-718), Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
- USS Hampton, (SSN-767)
- USS Key West, (SSN-722)
- USS City of Corpus Christi, (SSN-705), Guam
- USS Tucson, (SSN-770), Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
- USS Frank Cable, (AS-40), Apra Harbor, Guam
- USNS Impeccable, (T-AGS-23)
- RV Cory Chouest
- MV PFC James Anderson Jr., (T-AK-3002)
- MV MAJ Bernard F. Fisher, (T-AK-4396)
- USNS Watson, (T-AKR-310)
- SS Cape Jacob, (T-AK-5029)
- SS Petersburg, (T-AOT-9101)
- Helicopter Anti-Submarine Light 51 (HSL-51), SH-60 Detachments 1,2,3,4,6,11, Atsugi, Japan
- VP-9 (Patrol Squadron Nine), P-3C Detachment, Kaneohe, Hawaii
- Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron One, EP-3E Detachment, Misawa, Japan
- Strategic Communications Wing One, E-6 Mercury Detachment
United States Air Force
- 18th Wing, Kadena AB, Okinawa, Japan (F-15C/KC-135/E-3)
- 35th Fighter Wing, Misawa AB, Japan (F-16CJ)
- 60th Air Mobility Wing, Travis AFB California (KC-10)
- 305th Air Mobility Wing, McGuire AFB New Jersey (KC-10)
United States Marine Corps
United States Coast Guard
- "Indo-Pacom Wraps Up Valiant Shield 2018". The U.S. Air Force. 2018-09-25. Retrieved 2018-09-29.
- Journalist 1st Class (SW/AW) Shane Tuck, USN. "Valiant Shield Provides Valuable Joint Training Among U.S. Military Forces". NNS060620-15. USS Ronald Reagan Public Affairs. Missing or empty
- "U.S. begins massive war games in Pacific". CNN.com. Retrieved 2006-06-20.[dead link]
- Bodeen, Christopher (2006-06-20). "Chinese Observers Watch U.S. Wargames". washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2006-06-27.
- "Commander says Chinese military more open". WTOPnews.com. 2006-06-13. Archived from the original on 2007-09-26. Retrieved 2006-06-20.
- "China pleased after watching U.S. wargames". USAToday.com. 2006-06-22. Retrieved 2006-06-24.
- "Valiant Shield: a display of strength and numbers". Marine Corps Times. 2006-06-21. Archived from the original on 2006-07-09. Retrieved 2006-06-21.
- "Participants in Valiant Shield 2006". Valiant Shield 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-06-16. Retrieved 2006-06-23.
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