Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Josue Escobosa
Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kevin Murphy

The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSCSG) is set for composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX) off the coast of southern California.

COMPTUEX is a three-week evolution required of each carrier strike group before departing for a deployment overseas.

“COMPTUEX is the cornerstone of our workup cycle,” said Stennis’ Strike Operations Officer, Cmdr. Stevin Johnson. “It will be the first full integration with the strike group, in which we will train for operations that we might face on deployment.”

Stennis will work with embarked Carrier Air Wing Nine (CVW- 9), Destroyer Squadron Twenty One (DESRON 21), and other independent Navy ships in combating different scenarios presented by Commander, Strike Force Training Forces Pacific (CSFTP).

“The scenarios can vary from training in peaceful operations, to limited engagements to full engagement conflict situations,” said Johnson. “COMPTUEX will prepare Stennis and its strike group to realistically handle any crisis operation that may arise on deployment.”

“We will be demonstrating the strike group’s combat efficiency,” said Stennis Executive Officer Capt. Michael Wettlaufer. “Everything on Stennis will be a key part to the success. From our communication links, satellites, launching aircraft, down to the propulsion plants, Stennis will act as a huge piece in this exercise.”

The cruisers and destroyers in the strike group will act as defense perimeters against air, submarine and surface threats, protecting Stennis so it can project its force.

“COMPTUEX is the final stone, and will bring us into joint task force exercise [JTFEX], where other branches of the military will work with the strike group and we can train as a joint service,” said Johnson.

JTFEX is the final evaluation exercise Stennis and the strike group must complete before deployment this summer.

COMPTUEX and JTFEX will bring ships and aircraft together to prepare a force capable of protecting the nation’s interests and security anywhere in the world.

JCSCSG is made up of USS John C. Stennis, CVW-9, guided missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) and DESRON 21, which includes guided missile destroyers USS Kidd (DDG 100), USS Dewey (DDG 105) and USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108).