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Large Scale Exercise 2023 Commanders Interview Transcript
18 August 2023
NORFOLK, Va. --
LSE 23 Commanders Interview Transcript
11 AUG 2023
Okay everybody, we'll go ahead and get started. Good afternoon, and let me begin by saying to the members of the media that joined us here today: thank you very much for your coverage of Large Scale Exercise 23. We're really appreciative of you coming out and we hope that you've found the opportunities that we've coordinated for you so far today to be beneficial towards your coverage. I can't think of a previous media opportunity where the senior leaders from U.S. Fleet Forces Command, U.S. Pacific Fleet, and U.S. Naval Forces Europe, have simultaneously participated in a news conference for us, and excuse the pun, but the stars have truly aligned. So I want to thank Adm. Daryl Caudle, Adm. Samual Paparo, and Adm. Stuart Munsch for being here today. LSC 23 brings together the Navy and Marine Corps team on a global scale, and so we're also proud to have joining us here in the room, the commanding general of Marine Forces Command, Lt. Gen. Brian Cavanaugh. Now we're going to forgo opening statements because we have approximately 45 minutes for this media opportunity, and we're going to get right to your questions. But I do want to first throw out a few ground rules. Again, we've got about 45 minutes for this. This interview is on the record. The scope of this interview is the Navy and Marine Corps participation in Large Scale Exercise 23. That's what we're going to stick to. LSE 23 is not a war game against a specific threat or geopolitical situation and should not be described as such. We will not be discussing the scenarios of the exercise. Now I'll be going down the list of names who RSVP'd in order, and on your first question you are authorized to have a question and a follow-up question. Once we get through the list once then it will just be an individual question. So with that, we are going to begin with Mike Fabey.
Mike Fabey - Janes
First of all, thank you very much. I really appreciate, we all do, you doing this. I know you can't talk scenarios but it was earlier mentioned that you're bringing like lessons learned from real-world events. So I'm just wondering how current are those lessons learned? And how can you bring them into an exercise like this? How fluid are these kind of scenarios? And I know you can talk to scenarios like you mentioned before about Homeland Security scenarios. So you're talking about like, folks who might be putting a flotilla ships off of something or something like that. Thanks.
Yeah, let me just answer it generally, perhaps, and then let my two great friends come in with their perspective on what's a very good question. I've talked to many of you before about the Navy's continuum of learning. And so if you think about that continuum, we're in an exercise space, we have communities, type commanders and communities of practice, who do demonstrations and experiments all the time. The next level of that, if you want to think about it, is through this flexible exercise and experimentation level that's run by the Navy Warfare Development Center. It brings in new capabilities, new technologies, and so you can think of it on that level. The next one is that we're always practicing doctrine, new capabilities during certification processes, like during COMPTUEXs. And then the next level are our fleet battle problems and our integrated battle problems. And then the highest level in that continuum, short of the tier one war games that we all participate in with our combatant commanders, is Large Scale Exercise. So just have that kind of roadmap in mind. In each of those steps, we have organizations that are calling out all the lessons learned, and quantifying those and building them, and assigning those to some office of primary responsibility or coordinated responsibility. All that kind of bakes into the run-up to a large exercise event, in which we have milestone planning opportunities. We learned from the last Large Scale Exercise in 21 where Center for Naval Analysis had basically an 800-page document that we tried to go through to make sure we mine out the actual key takeaways that advanced distributed maritime operations, littoral operations in contested environments, etc., and make sure that those, if we thought were worthy, were put into that. So for instance, a great lesson learned was where we bolster the amount of senior mentorship to role play combatant commanders, the Joint Staff, the Secretary of Defense, to pressurize intention and our decisions on how we're sharing resources across three four-star staffs. That's an example of a lesson for how real-world lessons were being baked in. I would ask the other two commanders to speak since I've talked a lot about it already.
I understand you can't see me so on one hand, I apologize. On the other hand, just being a good submariner. I can see you and you can't see me. On this question about bringing in lessons learned, in addition to what Adm. Caudle said, I'd offer two additional perspectives. One thing is that what we have learned for some time, was recently rolled up into the joint warfighting, [inaudible] doctrine and there are elements of the joint warfighting concept that we are exercising in this particular event. So that's a strong baseline to draw upon, and very [inaudible] to make us current. The second perspective I would get to is that we're very cutting edge out here watching what's going on in the world, in Ukraine, and very quickly adopting the behaviors we see and the performance we see in technology. I can't go into the specifics there. But something as recent as what I was briefed on this morning, I pulled it into the exercise this afternoon. Back to you.
Adm. Paparo, anything to add?
The only brief point that I have is that Large Scale Exercise recognizes that we are a global Navy and that the threats are global also and you've seen recent real-world examples where our competitors are more increasingly cooperating with one another and are more increasingly sailing and operating further afield, which further underscores the need for Large Scale Exercise in our ability to find, track and monitor potential threats. And to do so across the globe among commanders whose headquarters are linked at all times. So that's the point that I would add about the currency of the lessons learned are that we're a continuous learning organization, and that includes not just our exercise programs, but real-world operations, as well as what Stuart just laid out. Thank you.
Justin Katz, Breaking Defense.
Justin Katz - Breaking Defense
Hi, sirs. Thank you. And, honestly, for any of you, but Admiral Caudle, maybe you can start. It's been emphasized that this is a global exercise. It's certainly significant to have three, four-star commanders all in the same huddle, so to speak. I was wondering if you could speak a little bit about the significance of that. How frequently in your career have you seen, three four-stars, all in the same exercise at the same time?
In exercise speak, it's extremely infrequent. The last time we tried to do this was in 21, and I think we have substantially improved Large Scale Exercise in its construct and its design, its interoperability, its scenario realism, the utilization of live virtual constructive, to a whole new level. And so prior to the team that's in the room here coming in, we just finished our global maritime commander synchronization meeting. In that meeting, we had the three four-star commanders discussing their challenges on what the actual event is pressing them on and things they can't solve on their own. Either they need to coordinate amongst themselves, or they need to go up higher to get additional resources or authorities. So the ability to speak at that level with the same common operating picture, the same maritime domain awareness, our operations centers, as Admiral Paparo talked about, being completely linked with the same sight picture and being on the same page across all these time zones. It's very early out there in the morning for Admiral Paparo, it's a seven o'clock meeting for him and a 2000 or so meeting for Admiral Munsch, and so it's taxing. They've devoted this level of time and effort with their staffs because of the understanding that we need to be able to have this same sight picture and to actually work together at this level, because against a peer competitor all the fights are going to be global. It'd be completely shooting behind the duck if we try to just regionalize the type of the strategic competitors that we're talking about.
Let’s go to Diana Correll with a question for either Admiral Paparo or Admiral Munsch.
Diana Correll - Military Times
Thank you. One question that I had earlier today was that Admiral Foggo said the virtual has to be as good as the live. I was hoping that either one of you could help contextualize how this allows you to test distributed maritime operations in ways you've never done before.
Let’s start with Admiral Paparo.
It's the scale of forces that you're tracking and that if in competition you say have you know 50 vessels that are deployed, by injecting virtual tracks you stress the headquarters’ ability to see and understand the space and to note what each unit is doing and encountering across a wide geography, and then be able to operate effectively. So the effect of simulating virtual units and virtual activity is to stress the command centers to get them up on a wartime footing, so that we're always ready and that the habits of mind and habits of action of commanding in a global threat environment across wide geography across hundreds of units and thousands of warfighters becomes ingrained in the key warfighting headquarters staff to train them. The saying is that the more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in conflict, and that's what's at work here.
Admiral Munsch, anything you'd like to add to that?
Yeah, actually tailing the last few questions, the other one about four-star involvement and the other about virtual being as good as live, look at exercises with the various metrics. Two that I would offer that make (inaudible) is the intensity of the exercise. And the second is the friction that gets injected, and friction can become really frictionless if you do it all virtual, because real-life events introduce friction and affect operations. To the question about having this many four stars together on the joint level, yes, because it is a global integrated exercise, but that's all virtual, so there's an element of friction that's missing, but it does have this kind of intensity. Also, at the joint level, you have the large scale global exercise, that's real forces in this issue, but that's spread over a widespread period of time. So it doesn't have the intensity, although it has the friction. So what makes this event unique is that we have both the friction of real forces as well as the scale that virtual forces offer and it's all in a very intense period, Admiral Paparo said, in order to train the staffs. Thank you.
Thank you, gentlemen. Okay, over to Steve Walsh, WHRO.
Steve Walsh - WHRO
Hi, I guess this is for any one of the admirals, but I get that everyone is talking about how the Navy and Marine Corps have to respond on a global basis, that any fight would be would be global. So why aren't you also including the Army and the Air Force, wouldn't they also be part of the same scenario?
Again, I'll kick this off, and perhaps Admiral Munsch can respond with his perspective on the joint staff and can build on what he just talked about on how that's looked at from a joint perspective. There is a need to do that, I would agree that the more we can do this as a joint force the better off we will be because we're going to fight as a joint force. But to coordinate something that we want to stress and get the learning objectives out of that we want, as a Navy, we have found that we can to some extent simulate the same environment that we would have joint force assistance in, but actually get our learning objectives done without trying to make this so hard that I couldn't ever coordinate it and actually get it done. So I want to actually do the things that Admiral Munsch talked about, put some ships to sea, simulate others, put others in a virtual environment, stress my maritime operations centers, work through the sets and reps as Admiral Paparo talked about to get our battle rhythms established, be able to command and control our forces, understand our limitations, and be able to add value in the joint level, and to be able to command and control other joint level exercises. And we add a level of realism because we've done Large Scale Exercise as a Navy and Marine Corps. So yes, we should do it the way you're describing. Ideally, that would be perfect, but that would probably hamper the ability for the Navy to learn the lessons it needs to learn on how we flow our forces, generate them, arm them, etc. I'll let the other commanders talk about their perspectives on that as well.
Admiral Munsch, let's start with you, sir, since Admiral Caudle mentioned you in his remarks.
Yeah, sure. Thanks. I formerly was the J7 on the joint staff and used to run these things in the joint community. Two perspectives there. One is that in virtually everything we do, it's a series of building blocks, starting out basic and working to more advanced. And as Admiral Caudle mentioned, you have to scope what your objectives are, you can't do it all at once, and so we all tend to start more concentric and work our way out. Even within the Navy you'll have some surface-only exercises or aviation-only exercises and eventually, we aggregate them to the bigger and bigger things. The other thing I would offer is that there are other significant benefits where it is all joint and there are other venues where that is done. All the services that are that way, there are some that are done single service and there many more that are done on a joint level. Where I am over here, everything we do is within the context of NATO, and I do have some joint NATO involvement on my end in this exercise. It's not as large as the U.S. Navy involvement, but it's given us that flavor and perspective we would need in that larger context. Thank you.
Admiral Paparo, anything you'd like to add to that?
Nothing to add beyond that which my friends did.
Copy. Okay, let's go to Cate Burchett from the Virginian Pilot.
Caitlyn Burchett, The Virginian Pilot
This is probably a question for Admiral Caudle. Can you speak to maybe a new stress or a new challenge that's been identified during this Large Scale Exercise? And is that something you guys are working to overcome actively? Or will it follow in the after-action report?
And Admiral Caudle, if you can answer that from the Navy perspective and then General Cavanaugh can answer from the Marine perspective.
At this level of Large Scale Exercise that we're working there's going to be a lot of tactical, operational, strategic things we're going to learn. I would say right out of the gate, and it's something I wouldn't say necessarily we've learned, but the scenarios are already stressing, that our unified command plan carves up the world into areas of responsibility for our combatant commanders to operate forces in and to conduct warfare if called upon in certain geographic areas. Of course, our adversaries and competitors understand this perfectly well, so it is in their best interest to see if there's a soft underbelly at those seams and work those seams to understand whether or not we are well coordinated, if we can handle cross flow coordination. Because that, in this type of level of conflict, and this type of exercise, is really the most challenging part. It's easy to operate your own forces within your own operational area. Now it may be challenging, because you know, war is hell, kind of thing. But from a conceptual standpoint, being able to command and control forces effectively in a structure that's not necessarily designed to do that, well, there is great learning and value there. In fact, I think the Navy probably is moving the ball down the field in that area, the most, I would argue. Because the nature of those lines carve up our oceans, and the way the geography is done in our unified command plan forces the Navy to do that. So to put a little bit more of a point on that, think of how NORTHCOM has to work very closely with INDOPACOM, has to work very closely with EUCOM, has to work very closely with SOUTHCOM, all in the name of defending our homeland we all live in. And so those cross coordinations have already been exposed, and my two good friends here on the net today are working that with great coordination, that's what came out of that synchronization meeting, really discussing a lot of those cross-coordination boundary issues.
Lt. Gen. Cavanaugh
I would just add in from the Marine perspective, it's really the same. So as mentioned by Admiral Paparo, we're a maritime nation. And your maritime forces, your Navy and Marine Corps, for the last two-plus decades, the nation has asked us to be in other places. Iraq and Afghanistan. So when Admiral Caudle mentioned that continuum of learning out to the fleet battle problems and Large Scale Exercise, that's at the highest level. But you saw some of this today in your visits down to North Carolina, the tactical level of that same continuum of learning, and we have Marine Forces Pacific, Marine Forces Europe, and Africa, as well as Marine Forces South included with learning those same types of things, those cross-boundary issues are still the same for us. Just getting back to our naval roots is something that we're learning through this exercise and something that we're also getting after, in real-time, and there's going to be more learning later.
We're going to go from one Caitlyn to the other. Caitlyn Kenney, Defense One.
Caitlyn Kenney - Defense One
Thank you. My question is for Lt. Gen Cavanaugh. My question is, you were talking about that Navy-Marine Corps team and integration. I'm interested in what are you working on to stress that in this exercise, while also trying to work on and test experimental concepts, especially for the Marine Corps, how they're really working on EABO and DMO as well.
Lt. Gen Cavanaugh
So LSE is the CNO's exercise. It's executed by Admiral Caudle, and he's the Joint Force Maritime Component Command for NORTHCOM and I'm his deputy, JFMCC is what we call it. You'll see that replicated out in the Pacific Fleet and out in Europe, that the Marine Component Commander is the deputy JFMCC, and we just need to practice that. Through these exercises, one aspect is our own individual experience. You heard Admiral Munsch talk about his time on the J-7. We all have unique individual experiences over three-plus decades that we came up in. But this is an exercise where we can bring all of our experiences together and learn from each other. In the first three days, I've learned a tremendous amount from Admirals Caudle, Paparo, and Munsch, as well as General Jurney and General Sofge, and you don't get that until you come together and do an exercise like this.
Up next, Megan Eckstein. Megan, a question for Admiral Paparo or Admiral Munsch.
Megan Eckstein - Defense News
Yeah, I would just be curious. You know, we've heard that this exercise is particularly focused at the three and four-star level for learning about EABO and distributed maritime operations. There's obviously been, in your theatres in particular, a ton of practice of these concepts at the tactical level. You've had, especially in the Pacific, a lot of experimentation, and I just wonder how all that work at the tactical level has really let you focus your efforts on these concepts maybe in a different way than the ships in the ARGs and the Marine units that are scattered about, you know, what are you able to devote your time and attention to in order to help further these concepts?
We'll start with Admiral Paparo.
Thanks, Megan, great to see you. At the tactical level, at the heart of expeditionary advanced basing operations at the heart of it is the mindset shift that the traditional Navy-Marine Corps relationship where the Navy gains maritime space and launches the Marine Corps into landward spaces. This sea change, pun intended, on EABO and force design 2030 for the Marine Corps is for the Marine Corps to effect and enable operations at sea, operating from maritime domain and maritime terrain, and operating dynamically. It's the ability for the Marine Corps to add additional fires, and in the cases where geography provides channelizing effects is where the sea is increasingly contested, and where adversaries are increasingly seeking to seek and hold the sea for their own purposes in violation of UNCLOS and in violation of conventions. It's to add to the Marine Corps in addition to its traditional missions of crisis response and as a joint 9-1-1 force. The ability to hold dynamically maritime terrain and to be able to hold maritime battlespace at risk and to operate in coordination with the Navy. And so you know, we're always at work on experimenting on this on the rapid insertion and the rapid sustainment and defense of Marine forces in maritime terrain, and the coordinated fires and effects overseas as our potential enemies seek to change the facts at sea in the way that traditional adversaries wanted to change the facts on the ground. And so at the tactical level, whether it is exercise Balikatan, whether it is of all of the exercises that we do each and every day at the tactical level, that's really the whole foundation of the experimentation that we're affecting. You know, because we can agree conceptually at our level, at the three and four-star levels, but until the tactical corporals and tactical petty officers are executing these operations in real terrain and in real waters, using real equipment, and we're able to execute the simulations that we're doing, it's all just a bunch of concepts on a sheet of paper. So as you've mentioned and appreciated, we have a robust experimentation program going, and this is how we're hanging the muscle on the bones of force design 2030. Great to see you, Megan.
Admiral Munsch, anything to add from your AOR?
Yeah, I would say that it's transformational is what it is. We use the word experimentation but I would tell you maybe to the general audience that's not the best term. I'm not experimenting anymore out here; I'm really using it. So what the marines in combination with small Navy teams get is the ability in somewhat constrained geography to conduct sea denial. I can know what's going on and you have the weapons that deny access to the adversary. That does a couple of things for me. First, it reduces the risk to my force. My own large forces in that same constrained geography could also be out in danger. It allows me to operate in different areas with less risk to the force. The second thing is it reduces the risk to my mission accomplishment. So because larger forces don't need to work to provide sea denial in the constrained waters, I can use them elsewhere. So it really magnifies what I'm able to do over here at a strategic level. So again, it's been transformational, and it's real. Thank you.
Thank you, sir. Chris Cavas.
Chris Cavas - Host of CavasShips Podcast
Hi Sirs. Thank you all for doing this. I'd like to talk a little bit about complexity. Obviously you've exercised multiple senior commands, multiple command commanders, multiple time zones, a huge number of people. But the complexity you're dealing with is truly coming from communications, real-time communications. We have to deal with disruptions. Hopefully, you have introduced into scenarios degradations, planned and unplanned. For example, we were talking to the Marine refueling units and they were having issues with some of their fuel trucks because (inaudible) that's not going to be the usual two and a half times. I would imagine that a lot of the scenarios are planned and are not planned. Hopefully, you're capturing those unplanned degradation scenarios as well. Just talk about what you're trying to stress, everything from the lowest tactical level to all the way up through the senior commands across these time zones, with all of your communication networks, which I'm also going to presume are not always going to work all the time. How does that all factor in?
Sure, I can kick that off a bit and let the other commanders speak to it. At the heart of your question is the exercise design, and so you can imagine, we're trying to impact 25,000 sailors. You may have been given that number. The exercise command group alone, to pull this off, ranges between 400 and 800 people to actually go run this event. So it is robust, depending on where I place them in that count. But you can imagine how several hundred people are part of this exercise control that are trying to put injects into the scenario as it's in run to stress things that are tied to our learning objectives, and what we're trying to get out of it. So that's the overall idea. So you can think of an ever-increasing, percolating event in a certain area of responsibility, at the same time, and other competitors taking advantage of that and trying to gain control or do something else at the same time, at a global level. So that's the general concept here. As we're watching one thing, the adversary is trying to see if are we taking the eye off the ball, so that's what stresses it at the global level because there can be multiple instantiations and different AORs where that's occurring. Now, you laid out something like what I just described, over the real world, no kidding, what we're all doing. I'm running, just like the other two fleet commanders are running, real-world operations here. No one's taking a pause out there in our adversaries’ spaces to let us go do LSE 23. I can’t say, "give us two weeks, please, without doing anything, so we can go do this and learn from it". So you naturally have the friction of the real world, day-to-day battle rhythm, being stressed with what we're doing here with LSE 23. So from a personal time and commitment effort from our staffs, this is the peak of one of the most challenging things we can do to that learning group, so that's extremely hard. To your specific point about communication: as you know, comms are not perfect, so I have to do very little for things to degrade. Not a day goes by that we're not getting a report that some, you know, C5I system is down, so that naturally is occurring and we're working through that. We let that roll, but in the meantime, we're actually attacking those spaces through cyber, space, information warfare, networks, C3, Command & Control communications, as part of the exercise itself to actually test specific things and how we devolve, how we do continuity of operations, how we shift to other networks, how we test things like Virtual Secure Enclave, where we go through a very secure communication system. That's all just part of the fabric of the exercise to make sure that those devolution TTPs and procedures are tested, and we learn from which ones worked and which ones did not work. At the tactical level, the inherent nature is that some of our units have operation overmatch hardware installed, where communications as a service are part of that. So we naturally get sets and reps on testing our overmatch capabilities as well, and at this classification we can leave it at that. But as you know, that can span multiple networks and multiple communication systems, and to the sailor on board that should all be seamless on the information that we're getting from those networks.
Let's go to Sam LaGrone, USNI.
Sam LaGrone - USNI
Hi everybody. So I guess this question is for pretty much anyone that's out there. DMO as a concept is a large departure from how you all have done business in the past few years with large formations, massive fires and then dispersing, massive fires, and then dispersing. But as far as its application in the fleet, you haven't seen yet that big sea change or structure shift that the Marines were sort of compelled to do. In terms of what you're drilling on in DMO versus the reality of what's able to happen in the fleet. Now, what's that delta?
We'll start with Admiral Munsch with that answer.
Thanks for the question. I would say that in many ways, we are successfully doing and operating with dispersed formations, as we do around the European and African theatres. The thing that supports that that's essential is the logistics foundation to do that, and we had spent the last few decades flying Lean Six Sigma and just-in-time delivery and reliance on commercial services, which to a fair degree thinned out the redundancy and logistics, distribution, and inventory that you would need in order to operate. So at the point gap with warfighting ship, I think we're pretty well-off there, it's the logistics foundation that we need to do to do more work on.
Admiral Paparo, would you like to chime in on that?
I agree with Stuart. If you were to step inside our maritime operations center and see our common operating picture and the picture and the dispersal of forces across the western Pacific, I think Sam you would change your opinion on the extent to which we're executing in the formations that we are today. Sam, you accurately expressed DMO as the dispersal of forces, it gives us the ability to mass fires under the principles of expanded maneuver, and that has been enabled by our ability to disaggregate sensor, shooter, and platform, to be able to achieve mass of fires on particular centers of gravity while dispersing and operating formations more dynamically. So I agree with what Stuart said, and Sam we'd love to have you out here at PACFLT and talk to you more about it. Because I disagree with your premise that we haven't activated it yet.
Two great answers there. The only thing I would add is that we do a lot of disaggregated operations. We just put the Bataan ARG MEU out, deployed about a month ago and we immediately have the large deck and the LSD over at Central Command and the LPD over remaining in European Command. Not distributed maritime operations, more disaggregated operations, the actual capabilities it takes to command and control those forces when they're in that posture are being tested. So of course we split up carrier strike groups all the time with the crews as they go do different missions and do the same type of things, to Admiral Paparo's point. But the sets and reps necessary for a commander in one AOR to talk to another commander in another AOR and be able to employ that ship effectively based on how it was certified and how we split out those forces is being practiced every day. So there are instantiations of how we're doing this in practice.
Matt Beinart from Defense Daily.
Matt Beinart - Defense Daily
Great, thank you for doing this. This is probably for Admiral Caudle. How is technology experimentation being moved into LSE? And what specific new capabilities would you highlight as helping to achieve or inform the kind of priority objectives that we've kind of touched on so far?
Yeah, thank you. On specific technologies that we're utilizing in LSE 23, I'm not going to address that here because it's kind of ongoing. I think we would wait till this kind of finishes up and rolls up before we talk about that, just from an operational security perspective. But I can tell you that the big game changer from LSE 21 has been the advancement and the capitalization and sourcing efforts from OPNAV and the CNO to prioritize how we improve our live virtual constructive so we continue to be on a roadmap of our integration to be able to do that more and more effectively. One point you would see, this is very localized, if an air wing went to Air Fallon, and they're simulating those types of environments, and that that type of situation, if you go to our training centers and attack centers, you'd see it there, and then we kind of move that out to the carrier strike group, so that we can have synthetic geographies. So we can simulate a ship being anywhere in the world, postulate red and blue forces on their tactical displays, or common operational picture that advanced now we're seeing that in our own maritime operations centers. And then as we march further down, the next big step is to be able to do that more organically with the air wing on board the actual carriers so they get that on their tactical displays instead of just in a Fallon-type of event. Then the final place that we really want to get to, and to get the air forces seeing these types of virtual constructive realities, is in information warfare. That more and more is a place that we are investing in, but we're not there yet. Such that the, the sailors and the officers that are in charge of information warfare systems can be part of that live virtual constructive environment, where they're immersed in an environment, virtually, that we think simulates real wartime or hostile environments, where they see that on those types of displays, and they can make recommendations to the strike group commander about their mission control status, about how to transit most covertly, about how to posture their sensors and radars, about their tactical situation, TACSIT, or understanding of the threat environment. So the information warfare piece is kind of the last place that we really need to get the LVC technology to the same level.
Let's go to Angela, WTKR.
Angela Bohon - WTKR
Hello. Our story, of course, is more for the general audience, we're local. So just wondering what you can speak to as far as the crews here in Virginia and North Carolina, what would you want the general public to know about who's here in our area?
I'll take that, since I'm the local commander here. First I would just tell the audience here locally, that the maritime forces, the Navy and Marine Corps team, value readiness. And the way we demonstrate that is through events like Large Scale Exercise 2023. We have a responsibility and a duty to be able to respond globally to threats and vulnerabilities to peer adversaries and competitors, and the only way you get great at that is by practicing that. You’ve got to practice it at the highest levels so that the sailors and Marine Corps team are ready, so that they get that type of situation confronted to them, that they understand how to respond and be at the ready. We want that to be a walk in the park compared to what we put them through in exercises like Large Scale Exercise 23. And as the local marine -
Lt. Gen. Cavanaugh
Yes, sir. My comments would really echo Admiral Caudle's, but just generically, we have the best young men and women, the sailors and marines that have joined all across the country, serving in this naval force, the strongest naval force the world has ever known.
We'll go to Mike Gooding for the last question. And then after the last question, I would like our three fleet commanders just to give a closing remark. So Mike, over to you.
Mike Gooding -WVEC
Thanks. For the two here in the room I also have a generalized question. I get that the whole objective here is to learn about your own capabilities and skills. But when all is said and done and this exercise is over, what do you hope is demonstrated to Americans, friends, and foes?
So for that we can actually go to Admiral Paparo and Admiral Munsch.
I'd like our friends and foes to know that we're a global Navy, that we're responsive, that we're ready, that with the Navy and the Marine Corps, we represent a joint force within the joint force that's ready to respond to threats globally, and can do so with alacrity.
Similar thoughts, I'll say it somewhat differently. You know, the United States is a global power that has global interests. We are blessed with allies and partners around the world. The United States Navy routinely sails, flies, and operates in international spaces, and you put that all together and we have a responsibility to be able to operate globally, effectively. And that's what we're doing. And we demonstrate that to assure our allies and partners, and we demonstrate it to deter adversaries.
With that, Admiral Caudle, any closing remarks?
I'll just answer a little bit of the same question and then just a general statement is: it is easy for a country, including the United States, to take our eye off the ball and get fixated on one threat. You can start worrying about one part of the world very easily, and you can see there have been examples of that in our recent history. When we do that, our competitors notice, and before long, you find yourself in a position in which you're not equipped to actually handle how they have grown in the time you've taken our eye off of them. So Large Scale Exercise is a demonstrative way to let the world know that we're watching it all. We are able to, with our global force, operate anywhere in the world and be a force for good there, and that we're not going to let you creep up on us again and find ourselves not ready to respond to threats worldwide. So that’s a perspective I would put on the point on the first question. Overall, I just want to thank all of you. You thank us, but you're the voice and the way we get this message out about what we're talking about in this session today. You should hold us accountable to the things we said we're able to do. And you are a part of that understanding of what we're trying to get across from Large Scale Exercise 23. This is a big part of your day as well, and to get to go see some great Americans, the Navy, and Marine Corps team, do the things we do at the tactical edge. Then to come up and see three, four-star commanders on the net and talk about this. One, you ought to be impressed. I am. Two, hopefully, we've answered your questions so that you get a deeper understanding of what we're trying to do with this exercise.
Excellent thank you, sir. Admiral Munsch, over to you, sir. Closing remark.
Yeah, thank you. And thanks to the media for participating here and for your questions. I said this evening, it's your afternoon. We talked about many things here, and I know that you had different things demonstrated to you earlier today and will see more later today. So just a comment to help sort the forest in the trees for you as to what I would hope you would take away from the Large Scale Exercise. And it's three things. One is that we're advancing the synchronization of global naval operations. I spoke to our responsibility to be able to do that. That's the first thing. The second thing is that we are deepening the integration in the Navy and the Marine Corps team. We've spoken to that several times. And then finally, we're implementing the joint warfighting concept via the Navy's distributed maritime operations concept, and the Marine Corps expeditionary advanced base operation concept as well as the littoral operations in a contested environment concept. So advancing synchronization, deepening the integration, and progressing the implementation of our warfighting concepts. Thank you.
Thank you, sir. Admiral Paparo, closing remarks.
My thanks to you, dear members of the press. And lest we all forget that while we're having these discussions, the real work is being done in harm's way on the unrelenting sea. So all of our thanks to those brave American men and women that are out on point, my thanks.
Thank you, sir. To demonstrate the importance of our Marine Corps partners I'd like to turn it over to General Cavanaugh for the last remark.
LT. Gen. Cavanaugh
Thank you all for coming out. And really, I think our forefathers got it right when they established the Department of the Navy with the Navy and Marine Corps team. For two and a half centuries, we've been doing what we're doing now. The hardware has changed, the software has changed, and the people have changed. These exercises keep us on point. We keep iterating and getting better and better. Thank you for all you do.
Admiral Caudle, Admiral Paparo, Admiral Munsch, and General Cavanaugh, this has been outstanding to have all of you in the room together with the media. Thank you again very much for your time. And media, thank you for coming in today. And that concludes our press availability.
Large Scale Exercise 2023
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