USS CLEVELAND, At Sea (NNS) -- The amphibious transport dock USS Cleveland (LPD 7) and embarked Marines from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) departed Naval Station San Diego Sept. 7 to participate in the USS Tarawa Expeditionary Strike Group's (ESG) Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX).
COMPTUEX is a two-week exercise which prepares an ESG for deployment certification and tests the strike group's ability to conduct major combat operations through scenarios and simulated combat environments.
"We are training for scenarios that are typical of the missions we could see in the 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility," said Lt. Cmdr. Michael Dickson, USS Cleveland's executive officer.
During COMPTUEX, Sailors and Marines aboard USS Cleveland and ships of the Tarawa Strike Group are expected to demonstrate their ability to operate in unison during scenarios that focus on surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, expeditionary warfare, maritime interdiction and air warfare.
"Cleveland is a key player in almost every ESG function," said Dickson. "Through integrated operations with the Marine Corps we support a multitude of warfare commander's objectives."
Embarked Marines from the 11th MEU are working side-by-side with Cleveland Sailors during the exercise to build unit cohesiveness and strengthen the "blue and green" team.
"Cleveland is training with Marines from the 11th MEU to seamlessly integrate into a cohesive war fighting unit," said Dickson. "Our Sailors are working hard and our Marines are developing the skills necessary for a successful deployment with ESG 3."
Previous at-sea training such as Expeditionary Strike Group Integration has significantly contributed to the overall success Cleveland's efforts during COMPTUEX.
"So far Cleveland has performed very well during COMPTUEX," said Lt. j.g. Jonathan Sullivan, Cleveland's training officer. "We believe that how you train is how you perform, and everything seems to be on track."
The amphibious transport dock USS Cleveland is the oldest operating amphibious ship in the U.S. Navy and is currently assigned to the USS Tarawa Expeditionary Strike Group. Amphibious transport docks are used to transport, and land Marines, their equipment and supplies by embarked air cushion, conventional landing craft, amphibious vehicles or helicopter.
For more news from USS Cleveland, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/lpd7/.