Sailors aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72), in coordination with a MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter from the “Guardians” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 48 and a P-8A Poseidon attached to the “Red Lancers” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 10, conducted an anti-submarine warfare exercise in the Gulf of Aden May 22, 2020. Guided-missile cruisers are capable of multiple forms of warfare to meet a wide spectrum of potential mission requirements. Regular training in surface-to-surface, surface-to-air, and surface-to-subsurface enables Sailors to be proficient in each of these areas and allows crews to maintain a high readiness level for any tasking the Navy requests.
During this exercise, an Expendable Mobile ASW Training Target (EMATT) was put in the water to act as a submarine decoy. Throughout the exercise, various forms of sensors were used such as sonar buoys from the P-8A Poseidon, the tactical towed array sonar from Vella Gulf, and a dipping sonar from the Sea Hawk. After working with each other throughout the exercise, Vella Gulf, the MH-60R, and the P-8 were able to track the submarine decoy and maneuver appropriately in response. As a result, Vella Gulf maintains her multi-mission capabilities and is fully mission-ready for national tasking.
Vella Gulf is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and Pacific through the Western Indian Ocean and three critical chokepoints to the free flow of global commerce. USS Vella Gulf (CG-72) is a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser built for, and in active service with, the United States Navy. Designed as a multi-mission ship, Vella Gulf is capable of sustained combat operations in Anti-Air, Anti-Submarine, Anti-Surface, and Strike warfare environments.