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Peleliu Wraps Up CERTEX

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS100427-04

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Kenneth W. Hunter, Peleliu Public Affairs

USS PELELIU, At Sea (NNS) -- The Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group (PEL ARG) completed its final pre-deployment work-up April 26 in preparation for its regularly-scheduled 2010 Western Pacific Deployment (WESTPAC).

PEL ARG, consisting of amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5), amphibious transport dock ship USS Dubuque (LPD 8), amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52), is led by Commander, Amphibious Squadron 3 (PHIBRON) Capt. Dale G. Fuller. PEL ARG and the embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) together completed the Certification Exercise (CERTEX), a comprehensive, complex training evolution that combined the Navy and Marine Corps' maritime and sea-to-shore capabilities.

Peleliu's mission with the MEU includes providing a response force capable of conducting amphibious operations on land, air, and sea.

"It's mostly a Marine exercise, but the ship plays a very important role in the exercise to make sure our Marine brothers can do their job ashore and at sea effectively," said Senior Chief Intelligence Specialist (SW/AW) Joseph Williams of operations department. "The exercise focuses on operations against waterborne targets, amphibious raids ashore, and humanitarian assistance operations. This exercise is to certify that the MEU can qualify to conduct an array of missions."

According to Maj. Kevin Duffy, operations officer of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (Reinforced) 165, there were a number of evolutions that the PEL ARG and MEU had to complete prior to the ten-day CERTEX.

"The last two underway periods were PHIBRON / MEU Integration and Composite Unit Training Exercise and various other ground-based evolutions that led up to CERTEX," said Duffy. "I think it went very well, and we are ready for WESTPAC and anything else that we have to do."

While similar to prior pre-deployment exercises, CERTEX is designed to strengthen the blue-green team's ability to operate together, and respond to various situations while deployed.

"Every member of the MEU/ARG team is a key player," said Duffy. "From junior Sailors and Marines, to the top of the chain of command; they have an important part to play."

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