SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (NNS) -- Helicopter Sea Combat (HSC) Weapons School Pacific (HSCWSP) closed the 2017 fiscal year by hosting the second annual Phoenix Fire combined arms, live-fire joint exercise utilizing the Navy's Southern California Offshore Range (SCORE), Sept. 11-22.
Phoenix Fire is designed to enhance the HSC community's combat readiness through a robust, realistic warfighting exercise while providing Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs) the ability to control a multitude of assets providing air-to-surface and surface-to-surface close air support (CAS) fires. The exercise afforded the opportunity for participants to conduct joint and combined combat training missions in a realistically-contested littoral environment; in direct support of U.S. Navy training and readiness interests related to current and future operations in the 7th Fleet.
The lead planners from HSCWSP were Navy Lt. David Richardson, Navy Lt. Drew Kollmann and U.S. Air Force Capt. Przemek Strekowski. Air Force Master Sgt. Tavis "TD" Delaney of the 116th Aviation Support Operations Squadron (ASOS) also supported the planning and execution of the exercise as the lead JTAC.
Phoenix Fire integrated multiple assets from all over the world.
Participants included JTACs from the 116th ASOS, 6th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (ANGLICO), Canadian Special Operations Forces (CANSOF), Special Operations Command Australia (AUSOF), and 60MM mortars from the 1st Marine Logistics Group.
Air assets included HSC Wing Pacific MH-60S squadrons, MH-60R Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadrons (HSM), F/A-18 Super Hornet Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFA) and EA-18G Electronic Attack Squadrons (VAQ), F-35B Marine Fighter Attack Squadrons (VMFA), U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reapers, and the Royal Netherlands Air Force with F-35A Lightning II. Air refueling support was provided by KC-130 Hercules Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadrons (VMGR) and KC-707 OMEGA Refueler Squadrons. Together they provided more than 360,000lbs of fuel.
The Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) provided Naval Surface Fire Support (NSFS). These forces prosecuted land-based targets on the island, one expendable high-speed maneuverable surface target (HSMST), and multiple towed targets.
Training included live and simulated combined fires from rotary wing, fixed wing, and surface assets, all in coordinated support of ground force maneuver and mission objectives.