SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Strike Group will depart San Diego Feb. 1 to begin an around-the-world deployment.
The strike group successfully completed its 12-day Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) Jan. 30 in the seas off the coast of Southern California, which certified the strike group to deploy.
JTFEX is the final step in preparing the strike group for deployment. It is designed to test the strike group's ability to operate in a complex, hostile environment with other U.S. and coalition forces. During this "graduate-level" exercise, more than 6,500 Sailors and Marines worked together to hone their operational skills in preparation for their upcoming around-the-world deployment.
"The Sailors and Marines of the Carl Vinson Strike Group have performed marvelously during the Joint Task Force Exercise," said Strike Group Commander Rear Adm. Bruce W. Clingan. "I couldn't be more pleased with the way the strike group came together as a team and outperformed all expectations. This was a challenging exercise that required all of us to have our head in the game and think critically about how we fight. Everyone rose to that challenge and met it head on. There is no doubt our team is ready to answer our nation's call during deployment."
According to Carl Vinson Commanding Officer Capt. Kevin M. Donegan, the success of JTFEX was a direct result of the hard work and dedication of highly trained Sailors and Marines from all rates and ranks.
"What made the outstanding success of JTFEX possible was the hard work and unrivaled teamwork of Carl Vinson, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 and DESRON (Destroyer Squadron) 31," said Donegan. "Although we haven't operated together since the COMPTUEX (Composite Unit Training Exercise), everyone rapidly came together to see to it that we had a safe and highly successful exercise. It's the Sailors and Marines who have made this outstanding success possible, and their dedication, professionalism and 'can do' spirit are awe-inspiring."
Carl Vinson left its homeport of Bremerton, Wash., Jan. 13 and will finish its deployment in Norfolk, Va., this summer where it will undergo a complex overhaul.
The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group is comprised of Carrier Air Wing 9, Destroyer Squadron 31, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Carl Vinson, the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54), the guided-missile destroyers USS O'Kane (DDG 77) and USS Mustin (DDG 89), the fast combat support ship USS Camden (AOE 2), the fast-attack submarine USS Olympia (SSN 717), and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 11, Det. 9.
The squadrons of Carrier Air Wing 9 include the "Blue Diamonds" of Strike Fighter (VFA) Squadron 146, the "Argonauts" of VFA-147, the "Black Knights" of VFA-154, the "Death Rattlers" of Marine Strike Fighter Squadron (VMFA) 323, the "Screwbirds" of Sea Control Squadron (VS) 33, the "Golden Hawks" of Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 112, the "Yellow Jackets" of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 138, the "Providers" of Carrier Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30, and the "Eightballers" of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 8.
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