PHILIPPINE SEA -- Amphibious assault carrier USS Tripoli (LHA 7) embarked Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet (C7F), Vice. Adm. Karl Thomas and his staff, June 2-17.
Embarking C7F showcased another aspect of Tripoli’s versatility, providing a full command platform for the fleet staff during Valiant Shield 2022 (VS22).
This marks Thomas’ first time embarked at sea since he assumed command as C7F in July 2021. C7F is the world’s largest forward-deployed naval force, and in addition to all those assets, it routinely operates with U.S. allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region.
“Valiant Shield is vital training that focuses on joint force integration to ensure the U.S. can effectively dissuade and defeat aggression of any form across all domains,” said Vice Adm. Karl Thomas, commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. “As the command ship for exercise Valiant Shield, USS Tripoli's Sailors and Marines truly exemplified its 'all in all the time' attitude that supported my staff and allowed me to direct forces from any location at sea across the Indo-Pacific.”
For Tripoli, embarking C7F is another first, and a chance to demonstrate Navy and U.S. Marine Corps integration. Tripoli operated in concert with Marine Strike Fighter Squadron (VMFA) 121, and other assets, participating in various missions and a photo exercise.
“Tripoli served as the 7th Fleet flagship while fully employing the Green Knights (VMFA-121), yet again proving the versatility of this incredible crew,” said Capt. Joel Lang, USS Tripoli’s commanding officer.
The staff were able to observe first-hand how lethal Tripoli is as a platform for combat operations. While onboard Thomas shared his observations with the crew, and highlighted the work of several exemplary Sailors before Valiant Shield, and his time aboard Tripoli came to an end.
“Team Tripoli really came to play and provided superb support to my embarked staff,” said Thomas. “It is invigorating to witness our true asymmetric advantage, our Sailors and Marines, operating side-by-side at sea with enthusiasm and professionalism.”
VS22 is a U.S.-only, biennial field training exercise (FTX) focused on integrating joint training in a multi-domain environment. This training builds real-world proficiency in sustaining joint forces through detecting, locating, tracking, and engaging units at sea, in the air, on land, and in cyberspace in response to a range of mission areas
Exercises like VS22 allow forces across the Indo-Pacific the opportunity to integrate Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force, and Space Force to train in precise, lethal, and overwhelming multi-axis, multi-domain effects that demonstrate the strength and versatility of the Joint Force.
Tripoli is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with allies and partners and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and maintain stability in the Indo-Pacific region.