USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) Underway with USS Makin Island ARG for CERTEX
by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason Behnke, Amphibious Squadron 5 Public Affairs
At Sea - Dock-landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) joined the rest of the USS Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Sept. 29 to begin a two-week certification exercise (CERTEX) off the coast of Southern California.
This is the final test for the USS Pearl Harbor before a regularly scheduled deployment.
"Our Sailors and the Marines of the 11th MEU have worked hard over the last few months to get us to this point," said Cmdr. Homer Denius, Pearl Harbor's commanding officer. "I'm confident that their hard work will pay off during this exercise."
Denius said he is proud to show what the crew can do throughout CERTEX and that they will certainly be ready to deploy and complete any mission that may come.
"The ARG and MEU are ready to prove that we are capable of performing amphibious operations by land, air or sea," said Denius.
Unlike prior exercises in the work-up cycle, CERTEX consists of more unpredictable operations. The ARG must be ready to react to situations with short notice.
"That makes for the most realistic training environment possible," said Denius. "I know the men and women aboard this ship will pass this test with flying colors."
CERTEX is the ARG's final test before its scheduled deployment later this fall. It will be Pearl Harbor's first deployment with the Makin Island ARG, as previously, the ship had been a part of the Peleliu ARG.
Led by Commander, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 5, the USS Makin Island ARG is comprised of the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8), the amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18), and USS Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor is the last of the Navy's four new cargo variants of the Harper's Ferry-class landing dock ships. It is the first ship to carry the name Pearl Harbor, commemorating the heroic actions of members of the armed services and citizens of the Island of Oahu Dec. 7, 1941