USS CAMDEN, At Sea (NNS) -- The fast combat support ship USS Camden (AOE 2) participated in a Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) off the coast of Southern California Jan. 25-30 as part of the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Carrier Strike Group.
JTFEX 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 throughout the Strike Group worked together to hone their operational skills in preparation for their upcoming around-the-world deployment.
Camden played an integral part in the exercise. Before the exercise, Camden completed a series of replenishment-at-sea (RAS) evolutions with Carl Vinson, USS Antietam (CG 54), USS O'Kane (DDG 77) and USS Mustin (DDG 89). This was to ensure all strike group ships had the food, parts, and fuel needed to successfully complete the exercise.
Camden was not the only ship working hard while she was alongside others. Helicopter Combat Support Squadron (HC) 11 Det. 6, embarked aboard Camden, transported more than 25,000 pounds of much-needed cargo and conducted urgent personnel transfers throughout the strike group. During the exercise, the pilots and crew also assisted in identifying potential threats and participated in a search and rescue exercise, as well as a mine hunting exercise.
"We were so excited to be such a big part of this exercise," said Lt. T. Kenneth Morris, one of the HC-11 pilots. "The entire Air Department was proud of their success."
Camden is homeported at Bremerton, Wash., and HC-11 Det. 6 is homeported at Naval Air Station North Island, Calif.
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