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NSWC Dahlgren Division Team works remotely to Ensure Valiant Shield 2020 Success

A team of scientists and engineers remotely working from Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) ensured the success of this year’s Valiant Shield exercise taking place in the Indo-Pacific area of responsibility.  The Virginia based team’s remote support of Valiant Shield 2020 sharpened the ability of maritime commanders to orchestrate long-range engagements against land, surface, air and subsurface threats using a
combination of Navy, joint and national-strategic assets.

”I am proud of how this team came together during unprecedented times to support Sailors despite travel
restrictions, often changing fleet and sponsor requirements, and normal stresses which accompany support
of live forces operating at a real-world tempo,” said NSWCDD mission engineer Joseph Pack in an
interview after the exercise concluded in late September.

The NSWCDD team supported Valiant Shield joint operations at sea, in the air, on land and in cyberspace
over the course of 12 days. More than 11,000 Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen synchronized to train
in a real-world environment, demonstrating their readiness to respond to any contingency at a moment’s
notice.   “For our team to accomplish this distributed exercise during the COVID-19 restrictions, long hours, away
from their families was no small task,” said Josh Cusworth, NSWCDD deputy director for expeditionary
warfare, one of three NSWCDD engineers deemed mission essential for their deployment to Hawaii in
support of the exercise. Upon arrival, the trio conducted a mandatory 17-day restriction of movement and
quarantine.

Due to the restrictions, Cusworth’s teammates from other organizations deployed to Guam and aboard a
Navy surface combatant while other groups deployed to New Mexico. “Being successful during Valiant
Shield demonstrates our team’s dedication and resilience,” he said. “Due to these circumstances, we
improved our remote connections and capabilities to establish a node at Dahlgren to sync into the exercise
and collect data.”

200925-N-KP021-0313 PHILIPPINE SEA (Sept. 25, 2020) From right, USS Antietam (CG 54), USS American (LHA 6) and USNS Charles Drew (T-AKE 10) steam in formation in support of Valiant Shield 2020. Valiant Shield is a U.S. only, biennial field training exercise (FTX) with a focus on integration of joint training in a blue-water environment among U.S. forces. This training enables 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. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Codie L. Soule)

Although COVID-19 restrictions presented new obstacles, the Dahlgren team – in conjunction with other
organizations – pushed forward to support the exercise that enhances U.S. military training with a high-end
joint all-domain training environment using live-virtual-constructive training enablers to simulate the live
tactical forces with constructive, synthetic opposing forces.

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