Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Benjamin Crossley
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Crishanda McCall

John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSCSG) and its crew of more than 5000 Sailors began Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) and final deployment preparations June 2.

JTFEX is an integrated battle force exercise designed to test the capabilities of carrier strike groups operating with multinational forces in a joint environment. It is the culmination of a series of exercises and training requirements conducted in preparation for upcoming deployment and readies the strike group for any challenge it may face while deployed.

Stennis finished composite unit training exercise (COMPTUEX), which was the biggest preparation for JTFEX, at the end of May.

“The exercise itself will be one continuous war time problem,” said Cmdr. Stevin Johnson, the strike operations officer. “We will continue where we left off of COMPTUEX and try to resolve the conflict in the joint operating area. The training will continue focus on our role in a joint environment while conducting sea combat operations.”

The cooperation that goes into this exercise comes from warfare commanders working together during operational interaction according to Johnson.

Upon successful completion of JTFEX, Stennis will be certified for the upcoming deployment to the Western Pacific and Central Command areas of operation to conduct maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts, helping establish conditions for regional stability.

JCSCSG consists of CVW-9, guided missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), and DESRON 21; guided missile destroyers USS Kidd (DDG 100), USS Dewey (DDG 105), USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) and USS Pinckney (DDG 91).