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TR CSG, CVW-17 Ramp up Training at Midpoint of COMPTUEX

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS170821-08
Release Date: 8/21/2017 10:34:00 AM

From Carrier Strike Group Nine Public Affairs

PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG) and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 conducted surge flight operations Aug. 18 and 19 at the midpoint of its composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX), a milestone signifying the next step toward certification for deployment.

Surge flight operations test the ship's and air wing's ability to launch and recover aircraft in excess of 100 sorties in a day.

The capacity to surge was initially reached by individually training components of the strike group then integrating them during COMPTUEX.

"The Carrier Strike Group with an embarked air wing brings rapid and flexible lethality anywhere it is needed," said Capt. Chris "Gus" Ford, commander, CVW-17. "Through an integrated approach the carrier strike group is flexible enough to respond to a crisis, protect the maritime commons, or provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief."

To date, CVW-17 squadrons have flown 1,304 sorties while conducting carrier qualifications, carrier operational efficiency (COE) requirements and achieving blue-water certification. Blue-water certification evaluates the ability of Theodore Roosevelt and CVW-17 to perform flight operations autonomously, away from shore support, divert fields, or alternate recovery options.

"Success in demanding flight operations is an indication that all facets of strike group operations are going well. Each warfare area and unit plays a vital role in carrying out that mission," said Rear Adm. Steve Koehler, commander, Carrier Strike Group Nine (CSG-9). "Every Sailor and Marine on deck will be tested to their limit, ultimately proving they are capable and prepared for any challenge on deployment."

In addition to flight operations, Theodore Roosevelt and the ships of CSG-9 have completed multiple training events throughout the first half of the exercise. COMPTUEX tests a carrier strike group's mission-readiness and ability to perform as an integrated unit through simulated real-world scenarios.

The strike group has also successfully completed numerous logistic movements, damage control training, five routine and notional MEDEVACS, three replenishments-at-sea including vertical replenishment, and four rehearsal fueling-at-sea events.

"It takes an incredible amount of commitment, proficiency, and endurance to achieve and maintain this level of combat readiness," said Capt. Carlos Sardiello, commanding officer of aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). "The drive, the hustle throughout the ship is visible, and I'm incredibly proud of the work so far."

TRCSG departed Naval Base San Diego Aug. 1 for COMPTUEX; its final pre-deployment evaluation to ensure safe and effective coordination within the strike group to achieve mission readiness and the ability to effectively execute the Navy's maritime strategy. Following the successful completion of COMPTUEX, the TRCSG will conduct worldwide operations in its upcoming deployment.

CVW-17 includes the squadrons Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 6, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 73, Electronic Attack Strike Squadron (VAQ) 139, Strike Fighter Attack Squadron (VFA) 22, Strike Fighter Attack Squadron (VFA) 94, Strike Fighter Attack Squadron (VFA) 113, Marine Strike Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 312, and Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 116.

TRCSG is comprised of Carrier Strike Group 9 staff, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 23 staff, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17, the guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), and the DESRON 23 ships; the guided-missile destroyers USS Halsey (DDG 97), USS Higgins (DDG 76), USS Preble (DDG 88) and USS Sampson (DDG 102).

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