From May 28 to June 7, aircraft from Carrier Air Wing One (CVW-1), embarked aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), are conducting integrated flight operations with the Italian Air Force.
“Italy is a key partner in ensuring security and stability in the region, and this opportunity to integrate with the Italian Air Force helps us both to refine tactics and increase our interoperability as we work toward mutual goals,” said Rear Adm. Gene Black, commander, Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group. “We’re stronger when we can fight together, and this is a great chance for us to use intensive training to enhance our partnership.”
The exercise utilizes F/A-18s from CVW-1’s four fighter squadrons, which integrated with Italian F-35 Lightning II aircraft, Eurofighter Typhoon fighters, and KC-767 tankers. They also were joined by F-16 Falcons and KC-135 Tanker aircraft from U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) based at Aviano Air base.
“This exercise is significant as it is the first time a Carrier Air Wing has operated consistently in the Adriatic Sea since the mid-1990s,” Lt. Derek Johnson, CVW-1 assistant operations officer. “CVW-1 and Carrier Strike Group Eight (CSG-8) are opening doors for future exercises and further integration with Italian forces on future deployments.”
Throughout the duration of the exercise flight operations are being conducted over Italy, to include over the Amendola Training Range and the Calabria Training Range, and over the Adriatic Sea.
Johnson said this has been a positive experience for CVW-1 as it has furthered “relationship building and increased understanding of how the Italian Air Force (ITAF) operates, as well as tactical proficiency training for our [Strike Fighter Squadron] VFA aircrew.”
Truman is deployed in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations, supporting maritime security operations in support of U.S. national security interests.