ABOARD USS CAPE ST. GEORGE , At Sea (NNS) -- Pacific Ocean -- USS Cape St. George (CG 71) tested its Aegis weapons system July 29 as part of the Abraham Lincoln Strike Group's Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX).
The main objective of the Aegis evolution was to exercise the strike groups command and control, provide a common tactical picture, execute pre-planned responses, and identify potentially hostile aircraft in a timely and accurate manner.
"During the Aegis exercise we had live aircraft coming in simulating a variety of platforms, each representing a different type of missile threat," said Lt. j.g. Joshua T. McNett, Cape St. George's fire control officer, "We assess what the threat is, know what it's capable of, and we counter it before it gets within close of range."
As a guided-missile cruiser, Cape St. George's main mission while deployed with the strike group is to protect its carrier, USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). The Aegis System is the primary way in which they do this.
"We are the air defense commander," said Fire Controlman 1st Class Chad W. Conrad, the Lead SPY Radar Aegis Weapons System (AWS) Technician on board Cape St. George, "Our job is to defend the carrier from any air strikes, and the Aegis weapons system is what does it."
The Aegis combat system is capable of simultaneous operations against a multimission threat: anti-air, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare. The Aegis System is designed as a total weapon system, from detection to kill.
"Aegis was primarily made for open-ocean conflicts," said McNett, "Out in the open ocean, it's the best thing out there. We can track contacts hundreds of miles away. So, there is a huge cone of coverage around the strike group and the carrier as a whole."
The heart of the system is the AN/SPY-1, an advanced, automatic detect and track, multifunction phased-array radar. The radar is able to perform search, track and missile guidance functions simultaneously with a track capacity of over one hundred targets.
Cape St. George is currently off the coast of Southern California with the rest of the Abraham Lincoln Strike Group taking part in COMPTUEX.
COMPTUEX is designed to train the USS Abraham Lincoln, the embarked air wing and the other units that make up the carrier strike group to function as one highly effective fighting force. The exercises will build upon the strike group's combat readiness by simulating the type of scenarios the strike group may face while deployed. The outcome will certify the strike group for open-ocean operations and moves it within the Fleet Response Plan, allowing the Navy to deploy flexible naval force capable of surging quickly.
For more news from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.