ABOARD USS JOHN C. STENNIS, Pacific Ocean (NNS) -- The USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Strike Group (JCSSG) departed Naval Air Station North Island Nov. 8 to conduct its Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) off the coast of Southern California.
According to Commander, Carrier Strike Group 3, Rear Adm. Kevin Quinn, JTFEX is advanced level training designed to prepare JCSSG to deploy at the highest level of combat readiness.
"JTFEX is a great training opportunity," said Quinn. "Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet staff and Commander, Strike Force Training Pacific staff are embarked to assess our combat readiness as we progress from ready to surge, to ready to deploy."
JTFEX marks the first time the JCSSG will conduct large-scale joint operations with the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Strike Group (RRSG). Together, they will provide a forceful military presence working to provide a secure and stable maritime environment while maintaining combat proficiencies across the spectrum of naval warfare.
JTFEX will test JCSSG's ability to operate as a member of an international coalition to conduct major combat operations with a second carrier strike group. JTFEX will demonstrate JCSSG's ability to plan and conduct various air warfare and maritime operations that it might face during its scheduled 2007 deployment.
As the West Coast surge-ready strike group, JCSSG would be the first to respond to any crisis.
John C. Stennis Strike Group is composed of Commander, Carrier Strike Group 3, John C. Stennis, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 154, VFA-146, VFA-147, Marine Strike Fighter Squadron (VMFA) 323,
Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron (VAQ) 138, Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 112, Sea Control Squadron (VS) 31, Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron(HS) 8, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 21, USS O'Kane (DDG 77), USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60), USS Preble (DDG 88), USS Chicago (SSN 721), USS Antietam (CG 54), and USNS Bridge (T-AOE 10),
For the exercise, JCSSG will operate with the staff of Commander, Carrier Strike Group 7, embarked aboard Ronald Reagan. The RRSG will include CVW-14, USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), USS Momsen (DDG 92), and USS Russell (DDG 59).
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