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Riverine Sailors Provide Realistic Training for Strike Group

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS101012-01

By MC2(SW) Michael R. Hinchcliffe, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to Riverine Squadrons 1 and 3 participated in the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group (CSG) Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) Oct 5.

COMPTUEX is a scenario-driven tactical exercise designed to train the embarked staffs, ships, and air wing of a CSG to function as one highly effective fighting force.

Designed to train and assess, COMPTUEX prepares the Strike Group for the execution of strike, expeditionary, and other naval missions in Joint, Coalition, and Interagency environments. The exercise consists of two distinct phases and is evaluated by Commander, Strike Force Training, and U.S. Fleet Forces Command.

Two Riverine Command Boats (RCB), acting as opposition forces, simulated a small boat attack on ships from the Enterprise Strike Group, which included USS Barry (DDG 52), USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) and USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81), three miles off shore in Cape Henry.

While the simulation tested the skills of the strike group it also allowed the Riverine Sailors to test the capabilities and handling of the RCBs in rough seas.

"We got the RCB to speeds of about 18-20 knots," said Chief Quartermaster Jerry Morgan, the riverine boat officer in charge during the exercise. "The RCB's purpose was to give a realistic view of an inbound fast moving small boat threat and help train the ship's personnel on engagement of force and counter measures."

According to Cmdr. Peter Berning, chief staff officer of Riverine Group 1, the 6 foot seas created a rough training environment for the RCB and the crews.

"The weather we had was a good test for the RCBs because we're looking to use them in an off shore green water environment," said Berning. "Today we learned a lot about the boat and what it could do in rough seas."

The Riverine Sailors will continue to support Enterprise CSG COMPTUEX as the opposition force throughout the month of October, simulating attacks on different ships in the Strike Group.

"I think the exercise went pretty well, the things we learned and the runs we made on the ships, I think we supported the exercise well," said Berning. "It's the first time those Sailors have seen two riverine boats of that size coming towards them at that speed. We presented a new dynamic profile to support the exercise."

Enterprise Strike Group is conducting COMPTUEX as part of its work-ups in preparation for an upcoming deployment.

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