JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- The "Pelicans" of Patrol Squadron 45 (VP 45) continued their pre-deployment work-up cycle this week by teaming up with Patrol Squadron 10 to support USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) Carrier Strike Group 2 Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX).
COMPTUEX is an intermediate-level carrier strike group exercise, usually conducted over a two- to three-week period. It's a prerequisite for the group's Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX).
Successfully completing these training evolutions certifies that the carrier strike group and its air wing are qualified for deployment and open-ocean operations.
In October 2010, the Pelicans successfully supported COMPTUEX with the USS Enterprise (CVN -65) Carrier Strike Group.
VP-45 Commanding Officer Cmdr. Michael Doherty said, "The Enterprise passed with flying colors and is currently transiting the Mediterranean Sea. Now, both the wing and our squadron are totally focused on getting Bush out the door and ready for deployment. This event is like a mid-term exam for VP-45 and VP-10, as the P-3 fleet and the surface fleet are evaluated during these exercises. Both teams are focused on maximizing their readiness for deployment."
The Bush COMPTUEX is being supported primarily by VP-10. When Bush returns for JTFEX, VP-45 will assume the primary role.
"Like Commander Doherty and the Pelicans, our Red Lancers include COMPTUEX and JTFEX in our work-up cycle. Our mission is to inform and protect the carrier strike group within our maritime patrol environment," said VP-10 Commanding Officer Cmdr. Robert Patrick. "With the Pelicans backing us up, we provide real-time information on surface and submarine contacts that could pose a threat to the strike group."
At VP-45, more than 100 pilots, flight engineers and mission specialists are assigned to 12 combat aircrews that are supported by 200 maintainers. The 24-hour operations required to support COMPTUEX also helps VP-45 prepare for its upcoming deployment.
In addition to daily training flights and maintenance evolutions, VP-45 is preparing for its aviation maintenance inspection (AMI) and operational readiness exercise (ORE). These are two of the toughest assessments that a squadron must pass before it can deploy.
Both AMI and ORE will measure the Pelicans' performance levels and show how well they are progressing in their work-up cycle.
"These types of inspections allow us to take a closer look at ourselves and how well we conduct daily business as maintainers. It's important for us to always improve on our best," said VP-45 Maintenance Master Chief (AFCM) Mel Butorac. "There is always room for improvement, and that's why it's always good for us to participate in training critical evolutions such as COMPTUEX and JTFEX."
For more news from Naval Air Station Jacksonville, visit www.navy.mil/local/nasjax/.