Trident Warrior paves way for future at-sea experimentation

The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), the guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97), and the guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) are underway in formation during a strait transit show of force exercise in the Pacific Ocean, Aug. 11.
Photo by MC2 Paul L. Archer

Commander, 3rd Fleet Public Affairs and Naval Surface Warfare Systems Command Public Affairs

In its 15th year of execution, Trident Warrior (TW) explored innovative solutions through fleet experimentation during various evolutions off the coast of southern California from June to August.

Directed by the Navy Warfare Development Command (NWDC) and Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), and supported by Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet (C3F), TW17 featured at-sea experimentation of more than 20 critical maritime initiatives.

Participants in TW17 included organizations such as SPAWAR Systems Center (SSC) Pacific, Program Executive

Office for Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (PEO C4I), Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR), Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) and Office of Naval Research (ONR).

TW experiments are designed to fast-track the introduction of new capabilities, innovative technologies, and tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) to aid maritime forces in all domains of warfare — air, land, sea and cyber.

“Trident Warrior is exceptionally unique,” said Dan Hallock, TW17 deputy director. “The event provides a venue to dynamically experiment with new ideas and innovations in a real-world environment. Each initiative is put directly into the hands of Sailors and Marines currently serving our fleet, and then the initiative is evaluated for warfighting effectiveness. This process enables warfighters to utilize Trident Warrior experimentation to examine an experiment’s potential and influence the direction of development and implementation. The resulting enhanced capabilities allow individuals to perform their job more effectively and efficiently.”

TW17 took advantage of previously scheduled ship training events to leverage maximum experimentation opportunities with minimum cost and impact on fleet operations. Experiments were completed by temporarily deploying advanced capabilities on fleet assets to collect real-world performance data and feedback from users during the underway experimentation period. Data collected throughout the experiments will be provided to Navy decision makers as recommendations regarding future capability investments for the fleet.

Participants included aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 7 1 ) , guided missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), guided-missile destroyers USS Milius (DDG 69), USS Preble (DDG 88), USS Halsey (DDG 97), USS Sampson (DDG 102), Los Angeles-Class fast attack submarine USS Pasadena (SSN 752) and the experimental medium-displacement unmanned surface vehicle (MDUSV), known as Sea Hunter.

The TW process specifically aligned each initiative into focus areas to include: Electromagnetic Maneuver Warfare; Agile Command and Control;

Cybersecurity; and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR). Once the initiatives were aligned under a designated focus area, the TW team worked with the sponsors of each initiative to develop an experiment designed to address issues the technology is targeting.

“Trident Warrior allows engineers, scientists and the operators to answer critical questions regarding the development of technology,” Hallock said. “We need to think if the initiative will reduce communication time and by how much. We can actually experiment during Trident Warrior and find out. Depending on what was learned during experimentation, we then work with the sponsors and requirements personnel to determine which initiatives have the potential to be accelerated for acquisition and which require further development.”

Vice Adm. Nora Tyson, C3F, observed several events during TW17 and was genuinely impressed with the initiatives and urgency to get new ideas into the hands of the warfighter.

“In the end, that’s what this is all about,” Tyson said. “Saving time, saving money and, most importantly, giving our Sailors and Marines the right tools to make them more effective warfighters … which will help save lives. Next year’s Trident Warrior is currently scheduled alongside Exercise Rim of the Pacific. Our international partners will appreciate the new technologies and concepts being developed to improve the maritime warfighting domain.”

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Category: News