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CNE/C6F Transforms Into Battle Staff During JTF Training

CNE/C6F Transforms Into Battle Staff During JTF Training

 By Journalist 1st Class Eric Brown, Commander U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Commander, 6th Fleet Public Affairs.

Mediterranean Sea, Underway -- (NNS) February 9, 2006 -- As part of the continuing transformation of Commander, Naval Forces Europe/Commander, 6th Fleet (CNE-C6F) about 150 personnel left their shore-based headquarters in Italy wearing their proverbial battle staff hats and boarded USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) in early February to conduct Joint Task Force (JTF) training.

The command and control ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC/JCC 20) flagship for Commander Naval Forces Europe-Commander Sixth Fleet (CNE-C6F) heading for waters off the coast of Monrovia, Liberia to help commemorate the inauguration of newly elected President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, on Jan. 16. The ship is forward deployed to Gaeta, Italy and carries a crew of nearly 300 U.S. Sailors and civilian mariners.

Atlantic Ocean (Jan. 14, 2006) – The command and control ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC/JCC 20) flagship for Commander Naval Forces Europe-Commander Sixth Fleet (CNE-C6F) heading for waters off the coast of Monrovia, Liberia to help commemorate the inauguration of newly elected President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, on Jan. 16. The ship is forward deployed to Gaeta, Italy and carries a crew of nearly 300 U.S. Sailors and civilian mariners. U.S. Navy Photo by Journalist 1st Class Kurt Riggs.

 U.S. Navy Photo by Journalist 1st Class Kurt Riggs

The at-sea training is part of the ongoing warfare certification process that will culminate this September during exercise Austere Challenge.

“This training is another step in our staff process to be certified as a joint task force headquarters for full deployment,” said Rear Adm. Carl Mauney, director of Naval Forces Europe Plans and Operations. “We do very little anymore as a solitary service at sea, so having the ability to stand up as a JTF is critical to our future success to plan and execute joint operations.”

Working with U.S. European Command (EUCOM), U.S. Air Force Europe and U.S. Army Europe, the CNE-C6F staff is combining capabilities from the different services under the JTF umbrella to create an effect that is greater than the sum of the component parts.

“We live in an unstable world, and crises emerge all the time, particularly in the EUCOM area of responsibility,” said Army Maj. Craig Linderman, a CNE-C6F joint planner. “CNE-C6F is looked at as one of the core JTF headquarters within the EUCOM combatant commander’s toolkit to resolve these crises. Some of these crises we may see coming months in advance, but many times, such as noncombatant evacuation operations, we may get little to no warning. We have to be able to stand up this headquarters at sea on a platform like Mount Whitney and be able to operate efficiently and effectively within a given set of days. That doesn’t happen by accident – it happens with hard work, prior planning and training.”

Part of the training also included four days of classroom instruction on effects-based operations (EBO) just prior to the underway.

“EBO represents a transformational way of thinking about our business,” noted Marine Lt. Col. Mark Felske, a CNE-C6F expeditionary planner. “EBO allows us to plan first with the end goal in mind and a focus on the specific effects and objectives we are trying to achieve. It also allows us to assess how well we are doing at achieving those objectives. We used this underway period as the first opportunity to integrate the effects-based approach into our planning process.”

According to Linderman, while the underway training period was relatively short, it was valuable, “I think it’s been a good start. We are taking our existing joint standing operating procedures and trying to become more knowledgeable on how they work, but at the same time, improve them by integrating an effects-based approach.”

Navy SEAL Cmdr. Roger Plasse, a CNE-C6F joint planner, said that although there is much more work to do, the classroom and underway training are paying big dividends.

“This has been a very productive last couple of weeks, because the concepts we learned in the classroom back in Naples were applied directly to the efforts that we had out here underway.”

With this underway training behind them, the staff can now focus their attention on the next phase of Austere Challenge, a weeklong pier-side event aboard USS Mount Whitney in April.

“CNE-C6F provides the core element to the JTF headquarters staff, but about 50 percent of the personnel will come from the joint components within EUCOM and from reserve personnel,” added Plasse. “Our challenge remains synchronizing everybody into a cohesive unit.”


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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).

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