USS Theodore Roosevelt, USS Kearsarge groups conduct JTFEX 99-1 NAVY WIRE SERVICE (NWS) - 16 February 1999 by 2nd Fleet Public Affairs NORFOLK (NWS) -- More than 24,000 U.S. joint service members as well as personnel and units from allied nations are participating in Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) 99-1, Feb. 12 - March 2, 1999. The exercise is being directed by Commander-in-Chief, United States Atlantic Command, Adm. Harold W. Gehman, Jr. Conducting the exercise is Vice Adm. William J. Fallon, Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet and Commander, Striking Fleet Atlantic. When in a training role, Fallon is designated as Commander, Joint Task Force 950. Featuring the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Carrier Battle Group and the USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), JTFEX 99-1 replicates emerging threats and operational challenges our military forces may encounter around the world. It is designed to meet the requirement for quality, realistic training to fully prepare our forces for joint operations when forward deployed. Participating forces will train using equipment and systems which incorporate the latest advances in technology, and which support the full range of capabilities that may be needed in various geographic areas where forces serve during theirdeployment. "This Joint Task Force Exercise will train operational units from all services in a battlefield environment that is designed to specifically prepare them for the types of challenges the military faces today," said Fallon. "It provides our battle group and amphibious ready group units valuable experience in operations with forces of other services and other nations, while giving them an opportunity to refine joint and combined warfighting skills. It also provides a challenging test of their capabilities, and completes the training and evaluation process which supports certifying the battle group and ARG as 'ready to deploy.'" In addition to U.S. forces, units from Great Britain, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Bolivia and Brazil are participating in the exercise. This kind of combined training enhances the readiness of both U.S. and allied forces, and is representative of the way nations often assign forces to deal with modern crises today. JTFEX 99-1 incorporates significant special operations forces (SOF) participation, as well. More than 2,500 personnel from Navy, Army and Air Force SOF units are coming together during the exercise to practice many of the missions that they may be called upon to perform in a joint task force environment. JTFEX 99-1 is taking place in the waters off Virginia and North Carolina, as well as the Puerto Rican and Jacksonville, Fla., operating areas. The exercise provides "graduate level" training for CVBG and ARG units prior to their deployment. During the exercise, participating forces will be tested on their ability to deploy rapidly, conduct joint operations during a crisis and refine tactics, techniques and procedures in joint force operations. Forces will train in a simulated high-threat environment that involves air, naval and ground operations, and which incorporates surveillance, rescue and other operations such as maritime interdiction, embassy support and non-combatant evacuation.