ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51) and the embarked 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit completed a Combined Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) Dec. 9, a capstone event certifying the amphibious ready group (ARG) as a deployment ready force.
The combined COMPTUEX was conducted over a 31-day underway period to test the ARG on its ability to function and cooperate together as a unit capable of operating in real world scenarios. Run by Carrier Strike Group 4 and Expeditionary Operations Training Group, the exercise tested Oak Hill Sailors in a range of operations.
"It's an advanced, integrated phase for the entire Iwo ARG," said Cmdr. Nakia Cooper, Oak Hill commanding officer. "It brings all three ships together, all the warfare commanders together, and it puts us through the paces of different scenarios. It gives us the sets and reps to make sure that we are ready to go across on deployment."
Combined COMPTUEX scenarios included Non-combatant Evacuation Operations (NEO), strait transits, ship-to-shore movement of equipment and personnel, air operations, aviation strikes, amphibious raids and boarding vessels. The crew is evaluated on its performance in the evolutions, and graded accordingly.
"This crew has continued to knock it out if the park," said Cooper. "I think with us going down to Puerto Rico and doing the [Defense Support of Civil Authorities] operations down there, it gave us a lot of the sets and reps that we needed doing air operations, well deck operations and moving vehicles around that absolutely set us up for success coming into this varsity level exercise."
The Oak Hill crew and the Marines of the 26th MEU integrated seamlessly, operating like a cohesive unit with a like-minded goal to complete the mission.
When asked about the blue-green cooperation Cooper responded, "I am extremely proud of this crew. I am extremely proud of the Marines aboard, and at the end of the day it's one team, one fight. We're excited to get ready to go on deployment with the Iwo Jima ARG."
Following Combined COMPTUEX the Iwo Jima ARG is prepared to conduct maritime operations around the world during its upcoming deployment.
The Iwo Jima ARG embarks the 26th MEU and is comprised of the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), the transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21), Oak Hill, Fleet Surgical Team 8, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron-28, Tactical Air Control Squadron-22, components of Naval Beach Group 2, and the embarked staff of Amphibious Squadron 4.
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