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USS Tucson Departs for Training Exercises

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS051018-08
Release Date: 10/18/2005 12:50:00 PM

By Chief Journalist (SW/AW) David Rush, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) -- USS Tucson (SSN 770) departed its homeport of Pearl Harbor Oct. 11 to participate in a Combined Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) off the coast of southern California.

For approximately three weeks, the nuclear-powered attack submarine’s crew will conduct various Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) exercises as a part of the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Strike Group.

According to Cmdr. James Pitts, Tucson’s commanding officer, the exercises are designed to improve overall readiness for the submarine and the carrier strike group.

“We will participate with the USS Ronald Reagan Strike Group since we will be part of the group when it deploys early next year,” said Pitts.

Pitts said the pre-deployment exercises are beneficial for all Navy assets involved.

“It benefits both Tucson's crew as well as the strike group in figuring out how to operate with the submarine as part of their command, and we help carry out the ASW mission tasking,” he said.

Pitts added that his crew is looking forward to accomplishing the tasks ahead.

“The crew has worked incredibly hard and have performed superbly throughout all of the pre-deployment training," Pitts said. "We’re definitely ready to go to sea.”

Command Master Chief (SS) Jeff Garrison, Tucson’s chief of the boat, said his crew is set for the upcoming challenges.

“In addition to the ASW and ISR exercises, we will be conducting tactical readiness evaluations and conclude the underway time with an operational reactor safeguard evaluation," said Garrison. "The guys have been working hard in preparation for these and for our upcoming deployment next year.”

Electronics Technician 1st Class (SS) Edward Le Bron of Tucson's navigation department said he is confident that he and his fellow submariners are ready.

“We’re looking forward to the training, accomplishing our goals, and passing all of our evaluations with flying colors,” he said.

COMPTUEX is an intermediate-level battle group training exercise. It typically represents the first time a carrier strike group operates together as a cohesive team and is a critical step toward final certification to deploy overseas.

Tucson is the 59th Los Angeles-class attack submarine and the 20th of the Improved Los Angeles-class attack submarines to be built. Construction began June 10, 1988, and the boat was commissioned Aug. 18, 1995.



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