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Nimitz Strike Group Completes JTFEX 05-03

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050406-08
Release Date: 4/6/2005 1:44:00 PM

By Journalist 2nd Class Kris Allen, USS Nimitz Public Affairs

USS NIMITZ, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Nimitz (CVN 68) arrived at Naval Air Station North Island March 24 after completing Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) 05-03 off the coast of Southern California with Carrier Strike Group 11.

The exercise was the final step in preparing the strike group for deployment. It's designed to test the group's ability to operate in a complex, hostile environment along with other U.S. and coalition forces.

"Our goal for JTFEX was to make sure we're trained and prepared in case hostilities do break out overseas," said Chief Operations Specialist (SW) Jeffrey Allen, a 39-year-old native of Torrance, Calif. "Hopefully, that doesn't happen. But if it does, it's just another step in our training to be prepared to fight if we have to."

More than 6,500 Sailors and Marines from Nimitz, Carrier Air Wing 11, Destroyer Squadron 23, USS Princeton (CG 59), USS Higgins (DDG 76), USS Chafee (DDG 90), USNS Bridge (T-AOE 10) and USS Louisville (SSN 724) sharpened their operational skills in preparation for their upcoming summer deployment.

"The purpose of [JTFEX] is to get you into the operating tempo of the joint environment in order to operate effectively," said Nimitz' Strike Planning Officer, Lt. Scott DeLay, 32, of Chattanooga, Tenn.

Comments by the exercise's assessors from Commander, Strike Force Training Group Pacific, could not have been more complimentary. The debrief included evaluations such as "best in recent memory" or "best completion rates of all strike groups."

As a result of the strike group's hard work and perseverance, Vice Adm. Michael McCabe, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, certified the entire Nimitz Strike Group as "ready for deployment."

None of this was a surprise to Rear Adm. Peter Daly, the commander of Carrier Strike Group 11, the Nimitz Strike Group.

"I'm very proud of the team's performance during JTFEX," he said. "It was the culminating event in our preparations for deployment, and we are ready!"

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