Thursday, February 05, 2009

Bataan ESG Partners with French, Launches COMPTUEX

By Mass Communication Specicialist 1st Class Christina Shaw, USS Bataan Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- The multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) and embarked Marines from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) departed Norfolk Feb. 3 to participate in a Composite Unit Training Exercise (COMPTUEX) with the Bataan Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) off the coast of Virginia and North Carolina.

COMPTUEX is the second of three at-sea training evolutions designed to prepare the strike group for its scheduled deployment later this year.

"While fleet units must be able to operate and fight effectively during major combat and high-end deterrence operations, they are also called on to operate in smaller units, often individually, in support of global maritime security operations," said Capt. Jack Sotherland, Bataan ESG commodore. "COMPTUEX helps us address the divergent nature of our tasking by training to the standard of major combat operations to ensure that we will dominate and deliver access through the sea, while providing broad deterrent capabilities from the sea."

In addition to the ships from the Bataan ESG, a host of other U.S. ships and two French ships will participate in COMPTUEX.

"Working with the crew of French Naval ship FS Tonnerre (L 9014) and FS La Motte-Piquet (D 645) will ensure increased interoperability with other countries Navies and prepare the Bataan ESG for future maritime partnerships," said Sotherland. "No one nation can do it alone. The success of our maritime strategy depends on continued interaction with the world's navies."

The Bataan ESG is comprised of Bataan; amphibious transport dock ship USS Ponce (LPD 15); amphibious dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43); guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio (CG 68); guided-missile destroyers USS Porter (DDG 78) and USS James E. Williams (DDG 95); the Los Angeles class fast-attack submarine USS San Juan (751); a Marine Landing Force from 22 MEU; Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 22, Tactical Squadron 21, Fleet Surgical Team 6, Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 2, ACU 4 and Beachmaster Unit 2.

Also participating in COMPTUEX are the French ships Tonnerre and La Motte-Picquet, USNS Kanawha (T-AO 196), USS Carr (FFG 52), USS Simpson (FFG 56), USS Boise (SSN 764), USS Cole (DDG 67), USS Bulkeley (DDG 84), USS Hawes (FFG 53), USS Kauffman (FFG 59), USS Doyle (FFG 39), USS Carney (DDG 64), USS Nicholas (FFG 47).