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3 Pearl Harbor subs, destroyer will join western Pacific war games

Valiant Shield begins Sunday off Palau

By William Cole

LAST UPDATED: 5:36 p.m. HST, Sep 8, 2010

The aircraft carrier USS George Washington, an amphibious ready group with Marines, and an Air Force expeditionary wing will be part of the exercise Valiant Shield 2010 starting Sunday near Palau and ending 10 days later in Guam, the Navy said.

Three Pearl Harbor submarines, the Hawaii, Greeneville and Tucson, and the Pearl Harbor destroyer Chung-Hoon will also be participating, the Navy said. 

The big U.S. exercise was held in 2006 and 2007 near Guam. In the 2007 Valiant Shield, three aircraft carriers were part of a 30-ship contingent.

The flotilla this year will be smaller, with 19 ships and 14,000 sailors, Marines and airmen.

The Navy in 2007 said Valiant Shield "tested the military's ability to rapidly bring together joint forces in response to any regional contingency."

Valiant Shield 2010 will focus "on integrated joint training among U.S. military forces," the Navy said. "It enables real-world proficiency in sustaining joint forces' ability to detect, locate, track and engage units at sea, in the air, on land and in cyberspace in response to a range of mission areas."

The U.S. Pacific Fleet said there will be no port visits by ships to Pearl Harbor in connection with the Sept. 12 to 21 (Guam Time) war games.

Air Force B-52 bombers, and F-15, F-22 and F-16 fighters will participate, officials said.

The exercise will begin in the vicinity of Palau and consists of war games with opposing forces as the ships steam east, the Navy said. The training ends near Guam.

Fourteen nations, 32 ships, five submarines, more than 170 aircraft and 20,000 personnel participated in the biennial Rim of the Pacific war games June 23 through Aug. 1 off Hawaii.

The focus on RIMPAC was on multi-national forces communicating and operating together while Valiant Shield is about joint U.S. training, officials said.

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