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NNS020522-15 USS George Washington Battle Group Completes Joint Task Force Exercise

Release Date: 5/22/2002 3:32:00 PM

From 2nd Fleet Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Ships and squadrons of the USS George Washington (CVN 73) Battle Group successfully completed Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) 02-2 May 5, paving the way for its certification to deploy.

The JTFEX is designed to meet the requirement for quality, realistic training to prepare U.S. forces for joint and combined operations. It also provides the opportunity to certify the carrier battle group for deployment. The exercise took place in the waters off the U.S. East Coast, as well as on training ranges in North Carolina and Florida.

"I couldn't be more delighted with the manner in which this entire battle group performed during the exercise. They are tactically proficient and extremely good war fighters," said Vice Adm. Cutler Dawson, U.S. 2nd Fleet commander. "There is no doubt in my mind that they are ready for deployment."

The 2nd Fleet commander is responsible for conducting advanced level training for all East Coast battle groups and certifies them as ready for deployment.

The George Washington Battle Group is commanded by Rear Adm. Joseph A. Sestak Jr. It includes the aircraft carrier USS George Washington with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 and Destroyer Squadron (CDS) 26 embarked; the guided missile cruisers USS Normandy (CG 60) and USS Monterey (CG 61); the guided missile destroyers USS Barry (DDG 52), USS Laboon (DDG 58) and USS Mahan (DDG 72); the destroyer USS Arthur W. Radford (DD 968); the guided missile frigate USS Kauffman (FFG 59); attack submarines USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723) and USS Newport News (SSN 750); and the oiler USNS Supply (T-AOE 6).

The USS George Washington Battle Group will be deploying this summer to relieve the USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) Battle Group, which departed in February. A return date for John F. Kennedy and other ships of that battle group has not yet been announced.

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