Norfolk, Va. – The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG) completed its Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) on Wednesday in preparation for its next deployment.
Commander, Carrier Strike Group 4 graded the exercise evaluating how well the strike group performed in warfare
scenarios such as simulated surface, air, undersea, strike and electronic attacks.
Simulated search and seizure scenarios, live-fire evolutions and strike group formations were also assessed.
Cmdr. Alysa Ambrose, commanding officer of USS Gravely said one of the best aspects of the training was the anti-terrorism and force protection exercises which allowed watchstanders to work together to assess and neutralize incoming threats.
“It has built a strong sense of camaraderie and teamwork both on the ship and between ships,” said Ambrose.
The completion of COMPTUEX demonstrates the strike group’s deployment readiness and the ability to fight and defend itself.
“My crew is exhausted — in a good way,” said Cmdr. Joel Lang, commanding officer of the USS Ramage . “We have run as hard as we could over the last month, engaging in every warfare area refining our internal processes while integrating with the other units that are a part of the Harry S Truman Strike Group.”
Captain Castellano, commanding officer of USS Anzio said COMPTUEX had been a positive learning experience for
“The various exercises that Anzio has participated in, from maritime security operations to being plane guard for Harry
S. Truman, have helped facilitate continual integration of our air department and built the confidence of each Sailor onboard,” said Castellano. “COMPTUEX has improved team Anzio’s professional expertise in warfighting and has provided significant training to prepare us for any and all challenges that may come our way during deployment.”
Over the past month, guided-missile destroyers USS Gravely, USS Bulkeley, USS Gonzalez and USS Ramage trained to conduct real world missions, including providing assistance to distressed vessels at sea. Using those same skill sets, they responded to four actual vessels adrift off the east coast of the United States.
One of the craft, King Fisher II, had two people aboard who were delivered to safety due to the efforts of Ramage and the U.S. Coast Guard.
“There is no substitute for training at sea to prepare a ship and her crew for warfighting,” said Cmdr. Stefan Walch, Gonzalez’s commanding officer.
Wrapping up COMPTUEX was the “Advanced Phase,” an unplanned continuous scenario that tested how the strike group
reacted, as a whole, to challenges they may encounter on deployment.
“As the Strike Group’s Flagship, we are the central node and the focal point to the entire exercise,” said Capt. Ryan B. Scholl, Truman’s commanding officer. “Together, we’ve conquered every challenge by communicating, planning and acting as a team – each ship, each aircraft and their Sailors brought their expertise, making us a powerful combat force. I have no doubt that we are well prepared for deployment.”
Teamwork and communication were vital themes of HSTCSG’s success.
“I’m very impressed with how well the strike group worked together as a team,” said Rear Adm. Bret Batchhelder, commander, Carrier Strike Group 8. “We began this exercise as six ships and an Air Wing. We finished as a unified, tested and proven Strike Group.”
HSTCSG is scheduled to deploy late this year and includes the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman, Carrier Air Wing 7, guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio, Destroyer Squadron 28, and guided-missile destroyers Gravely, Bulkeley, Gonzalez and Ramage.