Saturday, October 31, 2009

Nassau Amphibious Ready Group Begins COMPTUEX

Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (24th MEU) are transported by Landing Craft Unit 1655 (LCU 1655) into the well deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Nassau (LHA 4) for a Composite Unit Training Exercise (COMPTUEX). COMPTUEX is a routine training exercise conducted by U.S. 2nd Fleet off the East Coast from Virginia to Florida. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brien Aho/Released)

USS NASSAU, At Sea (NNS) -- As part of its Composite Unit Training Exercise (COMPTUEX) 10-2 from Oct. 23-Nov. 17, the Nassau Amphibious Ready Group (NAS ARG), comprised of three ships and the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, have been hard at work training Sailors and Marines for its upcoming deployment.

NAS ARG is comprised of Commander, Amphibious Squadron 8, 24th MEU, the amphibious assault ship USS Nassau (LHA 4), the amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48).

The exercise will serve as a deployment certification for ships, as well as offering Sailors the opportunity to execute maritime strategy.

The training scenarios will be realistic and challenging to enhance U.S. capabilities for maritime security. Exercise scenarios will be divided into phases and will challenge the NAS ARG Navy and Marine Corps team.

"It's important that our assessors certify us as deployable, not just as an amphibious strike group, but also as individual ships," said Lt. Cmdr. John Erickson, Amphibious Squadron 8 training officer.

Planned scenarios will test the group's ability to perform Maritime Security Operations (MSO), such as counterpiracy operations, and Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO), which will enhance both global and theater maritime security.

Additionally, ships will simulate strait transits and conduct real world operations such as replenishments at sea and boardings.

In port, the NAS ARG maintained an aggressive training program, said Capt. Mark Scovill, deputy commander, Amphibious Squadron Eight. At sea, Sailors are building on their in port training and putting their surface warfare knowledge to the test.

The guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG 56), the guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98), the amphibious dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44), the frigate USS Boone (FFG 28) are also participating in the exercise.

COMPTUEX, a routine training exercise taking place off the East Coast of the United States, from Virginia to Florida, was scheduled by Commander, U.S 2nd Fleet and is being conducted by a training team led by Commander, Strike Force Training Atlantic.

The exercise promotes Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet's three focus areas: conducting safe and effective fleet operations to achieve mission, providing ready maritime forces for global assignment, and teaming with allies and partners in execution of the maritime strategy.