Saturday, November 08, 2008

Stennis Successfully Completes COMPTUEX

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Elliott J. Fabrizio, USS John C. Stennis Public Affairs

An F/A-18E Super Hornet from the "Argonauts" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 14, left, launches while an F/A-18C from the "Death Rattlers" of Marine Strike Squadron (VMFA) 323 prepares to launch from the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). Stennis and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9, as part of John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, are conducting a composite training unit exercise off the coast of Southern California. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Walter M. Wayman/Released)

USS JOHN C. STENNIS, at sea (NNS) -- The John C. Stennis Strike Group (JCSSG) successfully completed Composite Unit Training Exercise (COMPTUEX), Nov. 5, off the coast of southern California.

"As a strike group, we each have our own strengths we bring to the fight, and we have to make sure that we can efficiently orchestrate them together," said Stennis Commanding Officer Capt. Joseph Kuzmick. "That's the whole point of COMPTUEX."

Embarked Strike Force Training Pacific evaluators tested the integrated operational capabilities of USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 21 with a series of simulations.

"Throughout COMPTUEX the group's performance increased each and every day," said Commander Strike Force Pacific Operations Officer Capt. George Fadok. "Their performance was outstanding, and we will recommend them to be certified for major combat operations."

The strike group is assessed on their ability to complete the objectives from the Navy Mission Essential Task List (NMETL) for carrier strike groups.

"This task list consists of close to 1,000 individual tasks, and each task has a measure of performance and effectiveness associated with it," said Fadok.

The evaluators assessed the strike group on each task at least once during COMPTUEX. This provided JCSSG Sailors with experience for deployment as they operated together through strike warfare, anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-air warfare scenarios.

"This is the first time the strike group worked together as one since last deployment," said Stennis Operations Officer Cmdr. Don Glatt. "It's about bringing everybody together to work for that common goal."

COMPTUEX is broken up into a variety of scripted, unit-specific training and two battle problems. The unit-specific training allowed the separate strike group assets to practice their roles individually, while the battle problems measured the strike group's ability to react to unpredictable operational situations as a single force.

"It's a learning process just like anything else," said Operations Division Officer Lt.j.g. Clay Cunningham. "You have mistakes and you have successes. The difference between when we first started and the last couple days is like night and day. We've learned to work together as a strike group and as a team."

With COMPTUEX complete, JCSSG will soon join with forces from other nations and services to tackle Joint Training Force Exercise (JTFEX).

Pre-deployment exercises give the Navy's strike groups operational experience so they are better prepared to safely and effectively further the goals of America's maritime strategy.