Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group is Ready to Deploy 

PACIFIC OCEAN (June 10, 2014) The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) transits the Pacific Ocean. Carl Vinson is underway conducting unit level training off the coast of Southern California. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Shantece Gonzalez/Released)
Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group is Ready to Deploy 
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brent Pyfrom, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs  
PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Carrier Strike Group 1 (CSG 1) successfully completed Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) off the coast of Southern California June 9, marking the final step in the strike group's preparation for its upcoming deployment.

JTFEX is an integrated battle force exercise designed to test the capabilities of carrier strike groups operating within a joint environment. The culmination of months of training, the exercise presented scenarios and situations the strike group crew may face while deployed.

JTFEX provided the opportunity for more than 8,000 service members to sharpen their skills, to practice operations, techniques, and procedures and to improve command, control and communication relationships.

"CSG 1 completed their integrated and advanced training during a single underway period," said Capt. Patrick Keyes, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, assistant chief of staff for plans, policy, training and readiness. "Carl Vinson Strike Group's fleet readiness training plan included incorporation of a pilot program that leverages a single underway period to seamlessly transition between COMPTUEX [composite training unit exercise] and JTFEX. CSG 1 is fully certified to deploy and conduct operations across all mission areas."

The exercise tested CSG 1's ability to perform strike warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-air warfare. Elements of CSG 1 consist of Carrier Air Wing 17 (CVW 17), Destroyer Squadron 1 (DESRON 1) and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Mobile Unit 3.

Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, assisted by CSG 15, led and evaluated the strike group's performance.

"JTFEX is our final certification as a battle group," said Capt. Matt Leahey, commander, Carrier Air Wing 17. "It's a strategic-level exercise where everyone from the carrier strike group staff, air wing staff, to individual squadrons are tested in their ability to integrate in a joint exercise."

"The Sailors assigned to the ships in the strike group are true professionals. They know the game and integrated well with the air wing," said Commander, CSG 1 Rear Adm. Christopher Grady. "CSG 1 staff was outstanding and I know a lot of planning and turning it into execution occurred from all units during JTFEX."

Upon return to its homeport of San Diego, CSG 1 Sailors will take an opportunity to spend time with their families before the strike group's deployment late this summer.

"I'm proud of the way the crew of Carl Vinson met all challenges head-on, and exceeded expectations at every opportunity," said Capt. Kent Whalen, commanding officer of USS Carl Vinson. "There were many long days, many difficult examinations, inspections and certifications, but we remained focused on the task at hand and the team did exceptionally well."

JTFEX featured nearly 40 participating units. The Carl Vinson Strike Group comprises Carrier Strike Group 1, USS Carl Vinson, CVW 17, DESRON 1, EOD Unit 3, USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), USS Gridley (DDG 101), USS Sterett (DDG 104), and USS Dewey (DDG 105).

U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Eastern Pacific from the West Coast of North America to the international date line and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.
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