USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, At Sea (NNS) -- Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group wrapped up Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) off the coast of Southern California Aug 13.
COMPTUEX is an 18-day exercise used to evaluate the strike group's operational readiness by assessing the integration of all units of the strike group such as air, strike, information, surface and anti-submarine warfare to certify the strike group ready for operations at sea and the upcoming deployment.
The Abraham Lincoln Strike Group consists of USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9 and guided-missile cruiser USS Cape St. George (CG 71).
Air Wing 2 is the strike group's primary offensive striking weapon. During COMPTUEX, the Lincoln and USS Nimitz (CVN 68) air wings conducted numerous large force strike drills deep into simulated enemy territory to destroy critical hostile targets.
Each large force strike involved the EA-6B Prowlers assigned to Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 131, E-2C Hawkeyes assigned to Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 116, F/A-18 Hornets assigned to Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFA) 2, 34, 137 and 151 conducting a simulation of targeting and destruction of critical targets while suppressing enemy radars and anti-aircraft fires.
USS Momsen (DDG 92), USS Shoup (DDG 86), USS Halsey (DDG 97) and USS Sterett (DDG 104) from DESRON 9 completed war at sea and surface action group exercises. These drills included tracking simulated enemy subs, maritime interdiction operations, visit board search and seizure drills and also transiting through narrow straights with potential enemies nearby. Strike group 9 ships also practiced striking land targets with tomahawk missiles.
USS Cape St. George (CG 71) coordinated the air defense for the strike group. While leading a combined effort for air defense of the Lincoln and Nimitz, Cape St. George incorporated all strike group units into a tactical data and communications link, which included P-3 Orion aircraft assigned to Patrol Squadron (VP) 30, Air Force Airborne Warning and Control Aircraft and U.S. 3rd Fleet's shore-based facilities.
COMPTUEX consists of two final battle problems to verify the strike group's competency for open-ocean operations. Both battle problems were successfully completed and the strike group was praised on numerous levels.
"You are sound and you executed well," said Vice Adm. Richard Hunt, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet. "The world is changing. It's more complicated and more dangerous, but you're ready."
Areas specifically noted for their excellence were maritime security operations, ship and air wing coordination, deckplate leadership, operational risk management, crisis planning, rules of engagement, execution, accuracy in strike warfare, agility in using alternate communication paths, response to network threats and overall performance in professionalism and combat operational effectiveness.