The Navy announced a major exercise that will span the globe, run by Fleet Forces based in Hampton Roads.

Large Scale Exercise, or LSE, is the biggest Navy and Marine exercise of its kind, involving six carrier strike groups and 25,000 sailors and Marines, spread between command centers around the world. The exercise is designed to test the services’ ability to work together, says Adml. Daryl Caudle, head of Fleet Forces. 

“This is a unique thing that we’re doing with the Navy and Marine Corps teams,” Caudle said. “To exercise conflict at this level. This is a lot of challenge for the Navy to put this on. It’s a lot of time for three four star commanders.”

It’s part of an overall shift by the Marines to work more closely with the Navy after two decades of desert warfare, says Lt. Gen. Brian Cavanaugh, Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic; Commander, Marine Forces Command.

“We're naval by nature, soldiers of the sea. And, you know, this training is imperative because, you know, again, it's by law why we exist,” Cavanaugh said.

The exercise will be held from Aug. 9-18, including 22 time zones using 25 ships with another 50 ships participating virtually. 

The Navy wants to simulate what it would be like if the U.S. was involved in a conflict with near-peer competitors, with several conflicts going on at the same time.

This is the second time the Navy is attempting the exercise. The first one was held in 2021, recognizing the long period when the U.S. Navy operated around the world without significant challenge was coming to an end, Caulde said.

This time the exercise will include people playing the secretary of defense and other political leaders, to mimic what military leaders would face in an actual conflict.