Valiant Shield 2007 Begins
By Trina A San Agustin
Variety News Staff
Tuesday 7 August 07
VALIANT Shield 2007, the largest naval war games in Guam waters, began yesterday.
Participating in this year’s event are over 20,000 U.S. military personnel and three carrier strike groups — the USS John Stennis, the USS Nimitz, and the conventionally powered carrier the USS Kitty Hawk.
Valiant Shield ends on Aug. 13.
U.S. Air Force personnel are said to have 60 fighters, bombers, air refuel tankers, as well as cargo planes.
The Valiant Shield series of exercises focuses on integrated joint training among U.S. military forces and enhances real-world proficiency in sustaining joint forces and in detecting, locating, tracking and engaging units at sea, in the air, on land, and in cyberspace in response to the range of mission areas, according to the Valiant Shield 2007 Web site.
In addition to the field training exercises, staff training exercises will take place concurrently for the Joint Task Force. The task force consists of 519 staff and component staffs at their headquarters in Hawaii and San Diego, according to the Valiant Shield 2007 Web site.
The exercises will bring together Air Force and Navy personnel and their assets to “work through a range of war fighting skills such as maritime interdiction and command and control.”
“This exercise, the greatest concentration of naval and air power in the Western Pacific since the Vietnam War, demonstrates joint command, control and communications of U.S. forces while highlighting continued U.S. commitment to allies and friends of the region. We are also hosting observers from many nations, including China,” the Web site reads.
This is not the island’s first time to play host to a large exercise. Last summer, naval war games involved more than 22,000 U.S. military personnel, 30 ships, and 280 aircraft. Officials say the number of this year’s participants mirrors that of last year.
Because of this exercise, residents can expect more traffic on Guam roadways, an increase in retail shoppers, as well as increased foot traffic in Tumon as the participants of Valiant Shield may have several days off to visit the island.