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120723-N-HF252-020 PACIFIC OCEANĀ - Cmdr. Brian Mecklenburg, officer-in-charge, Fleet Surgical Team 1, speaks with guests from the U.S. Department of State during a tour of medical spaces on board amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) during composite unit training exercise (COMPTUEX). COMPTUEX is a pre-deployment certification that evaluates an amphibious ready group's ability to conduct military operations at sea and support expeditionary operations ashore. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Derek Stroop/Released)
Peleliu Hosts State Department During COMPTUEX 
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Derek Stroop, USS Peleliu Public Affairs  
USS PELELIU, At sea - Amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) highlighted its mission capabilities for U.S. Department of State distinguished guests with a tour during composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX).

Guest visits help the American public and officials see the Navy's mission first-hand and the dedication of today's Sailors.

"It is important that the State Department, as well as any government agency, understand what we do, how we do it and how it affects their mission," said Cmdr. Jay M. Steingold, executive officer, USS Peleliu. "It gives them the chance to see the abilities and capabilities that the Peleliu can bring to their fight."

Members of the State Department flew aboard Peleliu via CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter to tour the ship.

"My experience has been fantastic," said Vasilli A. Alafogiannis, Supervisory Special Agent, Conflict and Stabilization Operations. "One of the things that strikes me is the responsiveness that you have. Peleliu's ability to respond quickly in so many different types of crises and situations is amazing."

Several State Department members will participate alongside Navy and Marine Corps personnel in an upcoming non-combatant evacuation drill as part of COMPTUEX.

As part of the drill, State Dept. officials "role play" as embassy officials during the simulated evacuation of a U.S. embassy in a foreign country, conducted in Camp Pendleton, Calif., according to Alafogiannis.

At the end of the tour, the guests left with a feeling of confidence and pride in the ship.

"Peleliu has enormous dedication to the mission," said Alafogiannis. "It feels good to know we have you guys looking out for us, and that we can count on you when the occasion arises."

According to www.state.gov, the U.S. Department of State's mission to shape and sustain a peaceful, prosperous, just and democratic world and foster conditions for stability and progress for the benefit of the American people and people everywhere.
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