USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- The Harry S. Truman Strike (HST) Group, comprised of approximately 7,500 Sailors and Marines, is engaged in a composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX), a three-week evolution, designed to enhance the training and skills of crew members in preparation for an upcoming fall deployment.
COMPTUEX is a multi-week, intermediate-level exercise required of each carrier battle group before departing for a seven-month deployment. The exercise brings ships and aircraft together to prepare to project force as a battle group in the interest of global maritime security and protecting the nation's homeland security.
"COMPTUEX is a key fundamental training block that allows Sailors to improve their readiness," said Rear Adm. Patrick Driscoll, commander, Carrier Strike Group 10. "That enhances our overall effectiveness. When we successfully complete COMPTUEX, we will be surge capable and ready to deploy in the event of an emerging contingency."
In the event of a contingency or threat, COMPTUEX will enable the strike group to respond in an effective manner and help set the conditions necessary for proper security and prosperity, thereby directly contributing to the defense of our homeland.
USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) has completed numerous at-sea evolutions since the beginning of the year in preparation for a 2009-2010 deployment. In addition to being the ship's lengthiest sea trial before deployment, COMPTUEX will be the first evolution during which Truman and other strike group ships train together as a cohesive battle unit.
Capt. John Meier, Truman's executive officer, said the integration of the strike group is vital to the training necessary for Truman's success during COMPTUEX.
"The basic overall goal of the COMPTUEX exercise is really for us to demonstrate our ability to operate as an integrated strike group," said Meier. "This is how we will fight, how we will go into combat and how we will go into harm's way. We will be going into these scenarios with all of our strike group's assets, so it's important we train with all our assets."
Driscoll said COMPTUEX is different from prior sea exercises by its heightened degree of training and level of focus.
"This will be the most intense training we get as a strike group before we deploy," said Driscoll.
"Commander, Second Fleet Vice Admiral Mel Williams and Commander Fleet Forces Training Atlantic Rear Admiral Garry White and their staffs are very focused on training the HST carrier strike group and are providing numerous aircraft, ships and fast boats to act as opposition."
"The ability to protect the carrier, which is the great power projection unit for the Navy, is the key role of practicing our air defense," said Meier. "We work with all the units of the strike group to ensure the protection of this high-value target. It's all about how we interoperate, how we communicate and how we fight as a strike group."
Successful completion of COMPTUEX will certify Truman and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3 as qualified for open ocean operations. It's not only a critical step in the pre-deployment training cycle but a prerequisite for the battle group's joint task force exercise (JTFX), Meier added.
To achieve that success, the battle group will need to rely on the key to success in any military strategy -- its people.
"COMPTUEX and CSG operations are a team sport," said Driscoll. "The Sailors are top-notch and highly-skilled, and I know they're going to be combat ready. My hope is we will leave COMPTUEX with a strong team and we will understand each warfare command's strengths and their efforts to the overall fight."
CSG-10 is made up of the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman; its embarked air wing, CVW 3; embarked Destroyer Squadron (CDS) 26; the guided missile cruiser USS Hue City (CG 66) the guided missile destroyers USS Carney (DDG 64), USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79) and USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81); and the attack submarine USS Norfolk (SSN 714). Also participating in the exercise are frigates USS Stephen S. Groves (FFG 29) and USS McInerney (FFG 8).
CVW-3 consists of Strike Fighter Squadrons 32, 37 and 105; Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 312; Electronic Attack Squadron 130; Airborne Early Warning Squadron 126; Carrier Logistics Support Squadron 40; and Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 7.
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.