The U.S. Navy Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60) departed Naval Station Norfolk to have their mettle tested before their scheduled deployment July 5.
Normandy, along with other units in the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, will have their tenacity and endurance tested by a series of high-intensity, real-world training scenarios taking place during a Composite Training Unit Exercise.
“COMPTUEX is the advanced stage of pre-deployment training stressing the integration between strike group units. It is a living, growing scenario which dynamically evolves as the real world geopolitical environment changes,” said Capt. Christopher D. Stone, commanding officer of Normandy. “It is a great reflection of what we may see on our upcoming deployment across multiple potential theaters.”
The exercise will be jam packed with various simulated combat situations, such as aircraft, submarine and missile attacks, ship casualties and engineering and communication drills all in an effort to assess the readiness of Normandy and its crew.
“We will conduct multiple live-fire exercises where we will flex the defensive capabilities of the ship,” said Stone. “We will also complete multiple air-defense exercises, which are important to Normandy as the Air and Missile Defense commander for the HSTCSG.”
COMPTUEX is the apex of underway combat stress training which further ingrains within the crew how to properly respond to various potential hazards on deployment. Strike Group units will be tested across every core warfare area.
“It stresses real-world integration with the strike group, problem solving, and it allows us the emphasis on live, realistic training not available as individual ships,” said Stone. “It also affords us the opportunity to practice our warfighting while also stressing safe navigation. While in-port training is extremely valuable, it cannot replace real-world training.”
For the duration of the exercise, Normandy Sailors will be actively participating. From the operations specialists keeping vigilant watch on radar screens in the combat information center, to the Ships Nautical or Otherwise Photographic Interpretation and Examination team visually documenting potentially-hazardous vessels and aircraft, or the engineering department hustling through the engine rooms of the ship ensuring Normandy stays ready to react at a moment’s notice.
“I expect Normandy to rise to the occasion and complete COMPTUEX with professionalism, dedication and enthusiasm,” said Stone. “As a team, we are ready for the challenge, and I am excited to see our results.”
For Sailors, this training is challenging. These are the seemingly never-ending days and nights people hear about in the Navy. Despite losing some sleep, and working overtime, these exercises prepare all Sailors aboard Normandy, and all HSTCG ships, to be ready for any scenario that presents itself.
COMPTUEX is an intensive, month-long exercise designed to fully integrate units of HSTCSG, while testing the strike group’s ability as a whole to carry out sustained combat operations from the sea. Ships, squadrons and staffs will be tested across every core warfare area with their mission sets through a variety of simulated and live events, including air warfare, strait transits, and responses to surface and subsurface contacts and electronic attacks.
Normandy is scheduled to deploy later this year with the HST CSG. Strike group elements participating in COMPTUEX include USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and embarked Carrier Air Wing One; staffs from Carrier Strike Group 8 and Destroyer Squadron 28, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Ramage (DDG 61), USS Lassen (DDG 82), USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98), and USS Farragut (DDG 99).
Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael H. Lehman, Navy Public Affairs Support Element East