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USS Mitscher Wraps Up COMPTUEX, Visits Port Everglades

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS110216-04

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Deven B. King, USS Mitscher Public Affairs

ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The guided-missile destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG 57) departed Port Everglades, Fla., Feb. 14, following a port visit that marked her completion of a Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX).

The three-day visit was the final stage of COMPTUEX and acted as a practice run for when Mitscher deploys as part of the USS George H.W. Bush Strike Group in the spring.

"One of the things we do is act as ambassadors of the Navy," said Cmdr. Monica Stoker, USS Mitscher executive officer. "Being able to pull in, represent the Navy well and give ourselves a good name, was good practice for when we deploy."

During the port visit, Mitscher Sailors attended a dinner hosted by the Navy League and participated in a deep-sea fishing trip sponsored by Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR).

"I had a lot of fun," said Navy Counselor 1st Class Ryan Okerlund, who attended the fishing trip Feb. 13. "We didn't catch any fish, but that's not really the point. The point is to get away from the ship for a while, hang out with some friends outside the work environment and do something out of the ordinary. It really helped recharge the batteries from the craziness of COMPTUEX."

"It was good to be able to give our guys a break after being underway for a few weeks," Stoker said.

COMPTUEX tested Mitscher's and the Strike Group's ability to operate as a unit through a series of exercises including anti-submarine warfare; strait transiting; and visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) exercises.

Mitscher will now begin the final stage of its pre-deployment certification with the Strike Group, a Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX), designed to build upon the competencies of warfare demonstrated in COMPTUEX.

"We're ready," said Stoker. "We've got our battle rhythm, and we're ready."

Along with USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), GHWB Strike Group assets participating in COMPTUEX/JTFEX include USS Mitscher (DDG 57), USS Gettysburg (CG 64), USS Truxtun (DDG 103), USS Anzio (CG 68), the squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8, the Spanish frigate ESPS Almirante Juan de Borbón and the French frigate FS Primauguet (D 644).

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