During October 2020, US destroyer USS Donald Cook had a requirement to undertake an Air Defence Live Fire Event in the form of Live Fire with a Purpose (LFWAP) to satisfy the intent of Theatre Certification requirements. The destroyer was part of the US Sixth Fleet, and was in UK waters undertaking Exercise Joint Warrior 20-2 - a UK hosted, multi-lateral training exercise designed to provide NATO and allied forces with a unique multi-warfare environment to prepare for global operations.
To undertake the LFWAP activity, the ship had to break away from the exercise on the UK East Coast and travelled to MOD Hebrides. Range capabilities at MOD Hebrides were provided through the Long Term Partnering Agreement (LTPA). The live fire exercise for the US Sixth Fleet destroyer needed a challenging tactical scenario with precise target specifications. The planning and execution of this project was achieved at very short notice by experts at MOD Hebrides. The range staff supported the exercise over three days in October, culminating in the successful intercept of a QinetiQ Combined Aerial Targets Service (CATS) supplied FireJet.
Outcomes & Benefits
The LFWAP event allowed the US naval crew to plan, train and execute a safe live firing and serves as a template for real world operational preparation. The crew benefitted from the flexibility of the team at the MOD Hebrides combined with their knowledge and experience to deliver a successful event. These events are easy to contract through T3E and are available to allied forces.