Lightning Strikes at Valiant Shield 2018


“The high-end biennial Valiant Shield exercise kicked off in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands on Sunday, with some of the Navy’s and Marine Corps’ most advanced platforms participating in the weeklong event.

“The exercise – a high-end, U.S.-only follow-up to the large-scale multi-national Rim of the Pacific exercise every other year – features more than a dozen ships, 160 aircraft and 15,000 personnel from all four military branches. This is the seventh iteration of the exercise, which began in 2006.

“We are excited to be here for exercise Valiant Shield as Guam gives us a world-class joint-training opportunity,” exercise director Rear Adm. Daniel Dwyer said in a news release.

“The Marianas Island Range Complex is a premier training environment that allows the joint force a unique opportunity to come together and train side-by-side at the high end.”

“To support that high-end warfighting training, the exercise will feature the Marines’ new F-35B Joint Strike Fighter for the first time ever; two P-8A Poseidon maritime multi-mission aircraft squadrons; and guided-missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG-69), the most recent ship to go through a combat system upgrade and be rotated into the forward-deployed naval forces in U.S. 7th Fleet.”

Megan Eckstein highlighted, in the quotes above, the high-end exercise in her recent piece for USNI News.

The video above highlights the engagement of the Marines F-35Bs in the exercise and was published by USNI news as well.

The slideshow highlights the preparation of the Marines for the exercise.

F35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter jets with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 121 are staged in preperation for Exercise Valiant Shield 18 at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Sep. 15, 2018.
Exercise Valiant Shield is a biennial, U.S. only, field training exercise (FTX) with a focus on integration of joint training among U.S. forces in relation to current operational plans.
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.



Photo by Lance Cpl. Seth Rosenberg

1st Marine Aircraft Wing