DVIDS – News – NCAGS exercise promotes global partnerships and maritime security

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GREAT LAKES, Ill. (June 12, 2021) – US Fleet Forces Naval Cooperation and Guidance for Shipping-Chicago, conducted a training exercise aboard the Great Lakes Naval Base June 11-13, 2021.

This small-scale exercise, conducted quarterly, trains U.S. Navy Reserve Sailors on the policies, procedures and actions necessary to work cohesively as they prepare for the larger multinational exercise of the NCAGS, International Maritime Exercise (IMX) and Regular Mobilization in Manama, Bahrain.

The primary focus of NCAGS, according to Lt. Cmdr. Kyle Strozewski, NCAGS-Chicago operations officer, is to communicate the global desire to maintain the freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce, to deter threats to freedom of navigation, and to enhance interoperability and familiarity with maritime security partners.

“This [exercise] prepares us for day-to-day operations and scenarios that might arise, like something like a [medical evacuation]Said Strozewski. “We also provide information on which ships take which routes to the commander in the region. They are able to make informed decisions based on this information.
What makes NCAGS unique is that the unit is made up entirely of reserve sailors. Reserve sailors regularly rotate between Bahrain and their official home to keep the 5th Fleet component staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

“I think it makes more sense to use reservists,” said Chief Quartermaster Phillip Rapp, assigned to NCAGS-Chicago. “Many in the merchant navy community are also Marine Reserve officers, usually [strategic sealift officers]. “

Rapp said Navy reservists attached to NCAGS can easily talk to merchant and military sailors, as they walk both worlds and are able to translate ideas from both sides.

“There are so many more commercial ships than military ships,” said Rapp. “Communication between them is our top priority. ”

The NCAGS watch is continuously monitored and maintained. Within 96 hours of a US vessel arriving in the area of ​​responsibility, the watch will notify the vessel and provide a welcome on board email.

According to Cmdr. Phil Casalegno, commanding officer of NCAGS-Chicago, the latest evolution of IMX, conducted in 2019, cemented global partnerships and maritime security. Now, as the world begins to open up again after the COVID-19 pandemic, NCAGS-Chicago wants to reclaim that energy.

“For reasons of economic security, it is absolutely essential for the United States and our allies that international maritime trade continues to flow freely,” Casalegno said. “Collaboration with coalition partners and stakeholders is imperative to protect freedom of navigation in this critical part of the world. This is the mission of NCAGS.

Casalegno said junior sailors especially need the training for this exercise to prepare them for all real-world scenarios.

“I learned so much about commercial shipping,” Haskin said. “Before my time in the unit, I thought the Navy only looked after Navy ships. This exercise taught me so much. He keeps us where we need to be. Can’t wait to go to Bahrain and do it in real life.

NCAGS-Chicago used this exercise to prepare for the next iteration of the biennial and multinational IMX to be held later this year. IMX 2019 included 55 partner countries and seven international organizations.

NCAGS – Chicago trains and equips U.S. Navy Reserve Sailors to help operational commanders manage risk by providing situational awareness and near real-time commercial shipping image information to help ensuring the safe passage of merchant navies and the safety of warships through areas of operation around the world.

For more information about NCAGS-Chicago, see the NCAGS Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NCAGSChicago/.

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Date taken: 06.12.2021
Date posted: 07/13.2021 21:47
Story ID: 400837
Location: GREAT LAKES, Illinois, United States

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