Commander Strike Force Training Atlantic
|Commander, Strike Force Training Atlantic|
|Country||United States of America|
|Branch||United States Navy|
|Role||Atlantic Fleet Integrated/Advanced Training|
|Part of||U.S. Fleet Forces Command|
|Garrison/HQ||Naval Station Norfolk|
|Rear Admiral Scott A. Stearney|
Commander, Strike Force Training Atlantic (CSFTL or COMSTRKFORTRALANT) is the U.S. Fleet Forces Command formation charged with training and certifying Atlantic Fleet Carrier Strike Groups, Amphibious Ready Groups, and independently deploying surface ships. Its mission is to “Conduct safe and effective Strike Force Training of the Atlantic Fleet.”
The command was previously known as Carrier Group FOUR/Commander, Carrier Striking Force (CCG-4).
CSFTL is a one star command under the three-star Deputy Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, and is based at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia. Tactical Training Group, Atlantic (TTGL) and Expeditionary Warfare Training Group, Atlantic (EWTGL) are subordinate commands. Additionally, Destroyer Squadron 26 and its four ships USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), USS Nicholas (FFG 47), USS McFaul (DDG 74) and USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79) also fall under CSFTL.
CSFTL was established as Commander Carrier Division Four (ComCarDiv 4) in March 1943 in the Pacific Fleet. From 1946, the division generally operated in the Atlantic, Caribbean and Mediterranean. On 1 August 1955, the division consisted of Ticonderoga and Randolph (flag), both homeported at Norfolk.
USS Forrestal deployed to the Mediterranean from 3 August 1962 to 2 March 1963 as flagship for ComCarDiv 4. In 1967 America was the division's flagship in the Mediterranean, during the attack on the USS Liberty. From 1970 to 1971, Rear Admiral George C. Talley commanded Carrier Division Four and Task Force 60 from USS Forrestal (CVA-59) in the Mediterranean. Between 1971 and 1975 the organization became Carrier Group 4, affiliated with NATO Striking Fleet Atlantic, part of SACLANT. In late October 1983, Carrier Group Four, the USS Independence (CV-62) battle group, assigned to the United States Second Fleet, became the core of Task Group 20.5, the carrier task group that would support the Invasion of Grenada. On 25 October 1983, aircraft from Independence's embarked air wing flew missions supporting the invasion.
In 2004 it became Carrier Strike Group 4. Carrier Strike Group Ten transited the Suez Canal on 11 November 2004, joining the U.S. Fifth Fleet, and relieved Carrier Strike Group Four, led the USS John F. Kennedy, on 20 November 2004.
CSFTL trains carrier strike groups and Independent deployers primarily during Composite Training Unit Exercises, Force Protection Exercises and Joint Training Force Exercises (JTFEX) off the eastern seaboard of the U.S. CSFTL also trains Amphibious Ready Groups (ARG) with their embarked Marine Expeditionary Units (MEU), as well as other surface combatants not associated with a CSG or ARG. CSFTL participates in United Kingdom led Joint Warrior exercises twice per year.
Composite Training Unit Exercises are designed to integrate all warfare areas of the CSG or ARG/MEU. Force Protection Exercises are designed to certify deploying units in land, air and waterside attacks for two years allowing them to conduct ports of call while deployed in OCONUS.
JTFEXs provides the Strike Group with realistic training in joint operations prior to deployment. The exercise requires integration of the CSG’s existing warfighting ability with other Joint and Combined assets to support warfare under a challenging threat scenario. Upon successful completion, CSFTL recommends deployment certification to Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces.
In addition, Fleet Synthetic Training (FST) is used throughout the training cycle to prepare units to go to sea. Synthetic training utilizes simulators and role players, and prepares units to go to sea at considerable savings (in fuel, material, etc.)
In July 2010 CSFTL ran a Composite Unit Training Exercise for the USS Kearsarge group which was combined with training for the Royal Navy's Ark Royal Carrier Strike Group under Commodore Simon Ancona and the Amphibious Task Group build around HMS Ocean.
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- Rear Admiral Gerry White, 2009-2010
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- Rear Admiral Scott T. Craig, 2012–2013
- Rear Admiral Scott A. Stearney, 2013–Present
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