Story by MC2(SW) Marcus L. Stanley
PACIFIC OCEAN — The guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) completed Composite Training Unit Exercise/Joint Task Force Exercise (COMPTUEX/JTFEX), earning a ready-for-deployment certification from U.S. Third Fleet, Aug. 27.
COMPTUEX/JTFEX provides a realistic exercise to train and assess staffs and units in joint, integrated and advanced-level mission skills in support of a deployment certification.
“Chung-Hoon is the first ship from Hawaii to take part in a fleet exercise of this magnitude since the early 2000s,” said Cmdr. Tom Ogden, Chung-Hoon’s commanding officer. “Meeting all the requirements of anti-submarine warfare, Chung-Hoon worked as an escort for aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis, providing multi-warfare defense.”
Over the past four weeks, Chung-Hoon saw a variety of scripted, unit-specific training and battle problems and was able to measure its ability to react to unpredictable operational situations while working with the John C. Stennis Strike Group as a single force.
“We learned lessons across the board,” said Capt. Robert Chadwick, commander, Destroyer Squadron 21. “In a comms denied environment, it’s very important that your subordinates understand command direction.”
In simulated and real-world scenarios, learning to operate and meet mission requirements without direct lines of communication is a challenge the strike group had to learn to cope with.
“We spent a lot of time ensuring the guidance we put out made it clear there was no question what the commander’s intent was,” said Chadwick. “I trust those commanding officers to go out and execute that intent.”
Pre-deployment exercises such as COMPTUEX/JTFEX give strike groups the needed operational experience to accomplish the mission America requires of them.
“Through careful coordination and planning, we were tested through multiple scenarios,” said Ogden. “We were able to employ every asset in Chung-Hoon’s warfighting capabilities. Our Sailors executed at a very high level, and moving forward we are confident in Chung-Hoon’s role within the strike group.”
Usually operating independently, “Hawaii’s Destroyer” played an essential role in its integration with the strike group, providing a top-tier mission asset.
“Chung-Hoon’s upgraded anti-submarine warfare suite, put [the ship] on the forefront of the subsurface battle throughout COMPTUEX and JTFEX,” said Christopher Danley, Chung-Hoon’s operations officer. “Combat Information Center watchstanders found themselves more on watch than off as they employed Chung-Hoon’s weapon systems to their maximum capability, defending the strike group from submarines.”
The successful completion of COMPTUEX/JTFEX brings Chung-Hoon a step closer to deployment.
The USS John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSSG), or Carrier Strike Group 3, includes: USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9, Destroyer Squadron 21 (DESRON 21) of which Chung-Hoon is a part, and the guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53).