ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21), components of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), completed their Combined Composite Training Unit (COMPTUEX) exercise, Dec. 9.
Combined COMPTUEX is the final exercise of a lengthy work-up phase and the last certification event prior to the Iwo Jima ARG and 26th MEU's deployment early next year.
"Combined COMPTUEX forced us to showcase every mission capability and assess how well we can plan and perform in each area," said Capt. Todd Vandegrift, commanding officer of New York.
The exercise fully integrated the Sailors and Marines as an amphibious force by testing their ability to execute a wide-range of military operations. The Marines and Sailors participated in a variety of training events that included live fire exercises, detainee handling operations, counter piracy boarding drills, two simulated strait transits; landing craft, air cushion operations; and multiple combat systems, air and missile defense exercises.
"This realistic and stressful training provided New York's Navy and Marine Corps team numerous opportunities to grow and develop our combined strengths," said Lt. Martin Dineen, plans and tactics officer aboard New York.
The Sailors and Marines focused on coming together as a team to complete the exercise.
"We were forced to test the limits of every Sailor and Marine as we worked through scenarios simulating what we might see as a forward deployed force," said Vandegrift. "Combined COMPTUEX has given us the opportunity to learn and grow as a fully integrated, blue-green team as we work together as an amphibious force."
Carrier Strike Group 4 and Expeditionary Operations Training Group presented a comprehensive training scenario that forged the New York and the 26th MEU team as a deployment-ready fighting force.
"New York and the 26th MEU have performed extremely well, and we have emerged as a fully capable unit, ready to deploy and perform at the tip of the spear in any area of operation," said Vandegrift.
The Iwo Jima ARG embarks the 26th MEU and is comprised of New York, the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), the dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51), Fleet Surgical Team 8, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron-28, Tactical Air Control Squadron-22, components of Naval Beach Group (NBG) 2 and the embarked staff of Amphibious Squadron 4.
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