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USS Gettysburg Completes COMPTUEX

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS110217-02

By Mass Communications Specialist Seaman Betsy Lynn Knapper, USS Gettysburg Public Affairs

ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- USS Gettysburg (CG 64) and embarked Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 70, completed a successful Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) as part of the George H.W. Bush Strike Group, Feb. 10.

A critical step in pre-deployment training, COMPTUEX is designed to train the ship, embarked air wing and carrier strike group for combat readiness by simulating scenarios the strike group may face while deployed.

"If you don't prepare the Sailor while you are preparing the ship, you are preparing for failure," said Capt. Patrick O. Shea, USS Gettysburg commanding officer. "We organized our family readiness group, educated the families through the Ombudsman, plugged into the community support structures, and took a mindful look at all the Sailors' individual lifestyles to support the eventual longer periods underway."

During COMPTUEX, Gettysburg's primary mission was air defense. The ship was tasked to support Rear. Adm. Nora Tyson, commander, Carrier Strike Group Two; and maintain air superiority.

"We work very closely with the aircraft carrier itself, the air wing that is embarked and the other ships that are like us with air defense capabilities," said Shea. "We are able to coordinate all our activities in such a way that Adm. Tyson can move the aircraft carrier wherever she needs to move it in order to conduct missions that national tasking would have us do."

Completing COMPTUEX qualifies Gettysburg for open-ocean operations.

"COMPTUEX is essential," said Shea. "It proves to the Sailors that they have the endurance and fundamental skills. If they bring that together as a team, we can remain adaptable to changing circumstances, applying our skills to the mission ahead; regardless of what mission that might be."

Following the completion of COMPTUEX, Gettysburg pulled into Port Canaveral, Fla., for a weekend of liberty. Because the port visit was close to their homeport of Mayport, Fla., Sailors were able to meet with family and friends. A tour of the Kennedy Space Center was made available. Gettysburg Sailors were also able to spend time in nearby Cocoa Beach.

Gettysburg returned to sea Feb. 14, to conduct Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX).

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