Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lincoln Embarks for COMPTUEX to Prepare for Deployment

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Benjamin Liston, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs

USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) departed San Diego, Sept. 20, for a three-week composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX) off the coast of California.

Lincoln and Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9, and guided-missile cruiser USS Cape St. George (CG 71) will use COMPTUEX to evaluate the strike group's operational readiness. To certify the strike group ready for operations at sea, training personnel will assess the integration of all CSG 9 units, including air, strike, information, surface and anti-submarine warfare assets.

"COMPTUEX will mark the first and only time during the strike group's current Fleet Response Training Plan cycle that all elements of the strike group will operate together," said Commander, Carrier Strike Group 9, Rear Adm. Mike Shoemaker.

"The key to a successful exercise will be working together as a team, as well as our disciplined execution of the very busy schedule of events over the next three weeks," Shoemaker said. "The men and women of this strike group have worked extremely well together during all of our pre-exercise training, and I look forward to building upon those important relationships during this at-sea period," Shoemaker said. "I'm confident the crews will excel in every phase of this readiness training."

The units in CSG 9 will be tested in all aspects of warfare training, including flight operations and air and surface defense of the strike group. Each part of CSG 9 will be evaluated on specific missions that they will be expected to execute on deployment.

COMPTUEX is the final phase of training for Lincoln prior to the ship's scheduled change of homeport deployment later this year. The exercises are designed to ensure the various strike group elements are fully operational and ready to work as a coordinated unit for the deployment and the transition to Virginia.

Lincoln Commanding Officer Capt. John Alexander said the exercise will help prepare the crew for deployment before the ship leaves her current homeport of Everett, Wash., for a scheduled refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) in-port maintenance period in Newport News, Va.

"This is the finest warship in the fleet, and our Sailors are true professionals in every sense. They execute their jobs with dedication and commitment every day," Alexander said. "COMPTUEX just gives us a chance to sharpen our skills before the big deployment."