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Lincoln Carrier Strike Group Wraps up COMPTUEX in Preparation for Deployment

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS111013-18

By Mass Communication 3rd Class Jerine Lee, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs

USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, At sea (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group wrapped up a composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX), Oct. 12, off the coast of Southern California.

During the three-week exercise, Strike Force Training Pacific (CSFTP) evaluated the strike group's operational readiness by assessing the integration of all units of the strike group, including air, strike, information, surface and anti-submarine warfare. Following the evaluation, CSFTP certified the strike group ready for operations at sea. Abraham Lincoln Strike Group is preparing for a change-of-homeport deployment to Norfolk, Va. later this year.

"We work very closely to train, mentor and assess the different warfare commanders and their staff and take a look at the strike group as a whole and evaluate how they work together as one team to accomplish the myriad of missions they are given," said CSFTP Commander Rear Adm. Thomas A. Cropper.

Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 is the strike group's primary offensive weapon. During COMPTUEX, air wings from Lincoln and USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) conducted numerous large-force strike drills for a joint task force exercise (JTFEX), an integrated battle force exercise designed to test the capabilities of strike groups operating with multinational forces in a join environment.

Each large-force strike involved EA-6B Prowlers assigned to Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 131, E-2C Hawkeyes assigned to Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 116, F/A-18 Hornets assigned to Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFA) 2, 34, 137 and 151 conducting simulations of targeting and destroying critical targets while suppressing enemy radars and anti-aircraft fire.

Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9 guided-missile destroyers USS Momsen (DDG 92) and USS Sterett (DDG 104) completed war-at-sea and surface-action group exercises. These drills included tracking simulated enemy subs; maritime interdiction operations; visit, board, search and seizure drills and transiting through narrow straits with potential enemies nearby.

Guided-missile cruiser USS Cape St. George (CG 71) coordinated the air defense for the strike group. While leading a combined effort for air defense of Lincoln and Vinson, Cape St. George incorporated all strike group units into a tactical data and communications link.

The COMPTUEX consisted of two final battle problems to verify the strike group's competency for open-ocean operations. Cropper praised the strike group personnel for their successful completion of the exercise.

"It was very clear that there are some good veterans on the team that taught the less-experienced Sailors," said Cropper. "All in all, they adjusted quickly by learning from mistakes and adjusting efficiently to the scenarios."

Cropper said the exercise participants demonstrated expertise in maritime security operations, ship and air wing coordination, deck-plate leadership, operational risk management, crisis planning, rules of engagement execution, information warfare exercises, accuracy in strike warfare, agility in using alternate communication paths, response to network threats, combat operational effectiveness and overall performance and professionalism.

"It was a real pleasure to be aboard Lincoln, and it's obvious that the spirit of excellence is on board," he said.

Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group consists of USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), CVW 2, DESRON 9 and Cape St. George.

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