Story by Ensign Davis Anderson, USS John C. Stennis Public Affairs

USS JOHN C. STENNIS, At sea. – Nearly 10,000 Sailors from the John C. Stennis Strike
Group (JCSSG), also known as Carrier Strike Group 3, are underway today off the coast of
Southern California, beginning the final phase of pre-deployment certifications: Composite Training Unit Exercise / Joint Task Force Exercise (COMPTUEX/JTFEX).
This exercise, which will increase in difficulty the further along they get, will test the
crews of JCSSG’s elements on their ability to operate as a strike group by running through
various simulations based on real-world surface, air, undersea, strike, and electronic attack scenarios.

“COMPTUEX/JTFEX is our graduation exercise,” said Rear Adm. Ron Boxall,
commander, JCSSG. “We are going to be challenged in all warfare domains, and we’ll come out of this a fully-trained team ready to meet maritime commitments anywhere our nation needs us.

If we do COMPTUEX/JTFEX right, we are going to be very tired by the end.”
JCSSG’s flagship USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) will act as the command center for the
exercise, allowing Boxall and his staff to organize the units participating, to include: Destroyer
Squadron 21 and its ships, USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 119), USS Stockdale (DDG 106)
and USS Chung Hoon (DDG 93); the Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 and its commands, Strike
Fighter Squadrons 14, 41, 97 and 151, Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 112, Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 133, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 14, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 71, and Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30; and USS Mobile Bay (CG 53).

“COMPTUEX/JTFEX is a dynamic exercise based, in part, on real-world situations and designed to bring the strike group together, turning us into a cohesive and effective fighting force,” said Cmdr. David Fields, Stennis’ operations officer. “Every sailor will be challenged and every weapons system will be tested.”

The strike group Sailors have been executing a very rigorous training schedule to certify for their upcoming deployment. They have come out of the shipyards, completed sea trials and tailored ships training availabilities to arrive at this point in their training where they are ready to work together as a strike group.

“The training milestones leading up to COMPTUEX/JTFEX saw exceptional coordination and cooperation between the multiple warfighting staffs, squadrons and ships,” said Capt. Robert Chadwick, commander, Destroyer Squadron 21. “That same coordination and cooperation will certainly be required during COMPTUEX/JTFEX, but our Sailors have prepared well and are ready to execute at a high level as we take this important step toward our deployment.”
The Sailors participating in the exercise will be evaluated by the staff of Carrier Strike Group 15, and when all the scenarios are complete Commander U.S. Third Fleet will certify JCSSG is ready for deployment.

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