SAN DIEGO- Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) completed Composite Training Unit Exercise with Carrier Strike Group 1, on Nov. 22, after being underway off the coast of Southern California for the past month.
COMPTUEX is a complex, scenario-based exercise designed to enhance interoperability of all ships and air assets assigned to Vinson CSG. Wayne E. Meyer and CSG-1 completed all phases of the exercise and earned certification in warefare areas, ensuring they are ready for their upcoming deployment.
As part of the COMPTUEX certification process, Wayne E. Meyer completed four underway replenishments, one simulated visit, board, search and seizure boarding, two mock strait transits, fired more than 130 rounds during naval surface fire support, defended against simulated attacks by seven surface combatants, 14 aircrafts, and 25 inbound missiles, and traveled more than 8,000 nautical miles.
Lt. Timothy Didjurgis, operations officer assigned to Wayne E. Meyer, attributes the sucess the ship’s unique watch standing approach in dealing with the complex battle-driven scenarios; a process implemented by Cmdr. Vincent A. Fortson, commanding officer of Wayne E. Meyer.
“Unlike the other ships that I have been on, we do not rotate other people into the different watch standing teams,” said Didjurgis. “Fortson wants each person assigned to the team to integrate and learn each other’s work habits so when a situation arises it can be dealt with accurately and in a timely manner. His method has been proven true by how successful our ship was during this certification.”
Another aspect of COMPTUEX is how the air wing and the ship integrate. Wayne E. Meyer embarked Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 78 Combat Element of the “Blue Hawks” to ensure the squadron could complete their certifications needed for the upcoming deployment and to integrate with the ship’s crew.
“With this being our first COMPTUEX as a squadron, it became clear on day one that we were extremely fortunate to be apart of a winning team,” said Lt. Jordan Davis, administration officer and pilot for HSM 78 CEL.
While onboard Wayne E. Meyer, HSM 78 CEL completed more than 100 free deck landings, 64 helicopter sorties, and logged more than 160 flight hours with more than half of those hours occurring at night.
“We have a great relationship with our embarked air department,” said Fortson. “This underway has taught both teams what to expect from the other and to become one. I’m looking forward to this deployment and seeing how this partnership grows.”
The integrated team aboard Wayne E. Meyer had a successful end to COMPTUEX with the successful on-load of ammunition, before pulling into her homeport of Naval Base San Diego.
“This COMPUTEX has gotten this ship ready for deployment,” said Fortson. “My crew did an outstanding job throughout the underway completing everything the ship was tasked with and more. I’m happy and very proud of what the team accomplished during this exercise.”
Wayne E. Meyer is attached to CSG-1, which consists of Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), Carrier Air Wing 2, Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), and Destroyer Squadron (CDS) 1. CVW-2 consists of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 4 “Black Knights”, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM 78) “Blue Hawks”, Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFA) 2 “Bounty Hunters”, VFA-34 “Blue Blasters”, VFA-137 “Krestrels”, VFA-192 “Golden Dragons”, Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 113 “Black Eagles” and Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 136 “Gauntlets”. CDS-1 consists of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112), USS Dewey (DDG 105), and USS Sterett (DDG 104).
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