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Stennis Prepares for Deployment, Conducts Simulated Strait Transit

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS110514-07

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Benjamin Crossley, USS John C. Stennis Public Affairs

USS JOHN C. STENNIS, At Sea (NNS) -- John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group simulated a strait transit May 13 off the coast of southern California.

The simulation was planned by Commander, Strike Force Training Pacific (CSFTP), as a part of a composite unit training exercise (COMPTUEX).

"We scheduled an exercise encompassing the air wing, destroyers and carrier strike group in order to test the individual units' tactics and procedures," said Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Toriello, assistant intelligence officer for CSFTP. "The test is also an observation of the staffs' integration with various components of the entire strike group."

During the simulation, CSFTP worked with a government contractor to coordinate a series of small boats to antagonize the strike group. As the ship dealt with the potential threats, CSFTP assessed the individual units and the strike group as a whole.

"We saw good defensive measures taken by ships and aircraft to protect the strike group using techniques and procedures that the strike group has not been able to practice since the last deployment," said Toriello. "Many team elements went well and were done right."

Toriello called the experience beneficial to the complete strike group. All ships need to understand and recognize the difference between a threatening fast attack craft and an illicit, non-threatening smuggler, which is a possibility on the high seas in the Fifth and Seventh Fleet areas of operation, he said.

"Our training is SECNAV-directed for certification for the carrier strike group for global operations," said Toriello. "Without the certification, carriers cannot deploy."

This was the initial assessment of the carrier strike group's teamwork and capabilities.

"We saw a lot of potential and some room for improvement as expected with the first true exercise of the strait transit scenario," said Toriello.

As COMPTUEX continues, CSFTP will continue to prepare Sailors of the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group for upcoming deployment.

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