February 25, 2019 – After weeks at sea drilling and training through a variety of challenging and realistic scenarios during their composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX), the Sailors of the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Carrier Strike Group (ABECSG) returned to Naval Station Norfolk Feb. 23.
The month-long assessment tested ABECSG’s units and their ability to interoperate as a team-of-teams in a complex and rapidly changing maritime domain. Upon successful completion of COMPTUEX the ABECSG will be the next CSG certified for deployed operations.
“I’m extremely proud of the hard work and dedication I saw from every level of the team throughout this dynamic and challenging training event,” said Rear Adm. John Wade, commander, Carrier Strike Group Twelve. “I was impressed by the level of complexity of the exercise, which afforded our strike group the opportunity to get in the reps and sets necessary to build competence and confidence across all domains and warfare areas.”
Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 4 evaluates East Coast Carrier Strike Groups’ abilities to conduct military operations at sea and project power ashore, and had assessors aboard ABECSG assets throughout COMPTUEX to support the operators through a variety of scenarios based on realistic events and situations. The units were tested across every core warfare area within their mission set through a variety of simulated and live events, including air warfare, strait transits, and responses to surface and subsurface contacts and electronic attacks.
ABECSG’s COMPTUEX was further enhanced by the addition of the newly re-established 2nd Fleet. 2nd Fleet is building in capacity and capability by exercising command and control over the strike group and the exercise. Participating in ABECSG’s training will set the stage for the relationship between the Fleet, CSG 4, and United States Fleet Forces in the execution of the force generation mission, and is a milestone on 2nd Fleet’s path to reaching full operational capability.
“The carrier strike group is the pivotal, critical element of a numbered fleet. Because of the many hours of training and scenarios CSG 4 led over the last several weeks, when the men and women of CSG 12 deploy they will be resolute, ready and lethal on arrival,” said Vice Adm. Andrew “Woody” Lewis, commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet.
Wade echoed the 2nd Fleet Commander’s sentiments as the exercise drew to a close, “For us,” Wade said, “COMPTUEX was about further building upon the team-of-teams concept and driving the football down field with regards to integration, tactical proficiency, toughness and lethality so that we’re prepared and ready for our upcoming deployment.”
ABECSG is comprised of its flagship, the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), and ships assigned to Destroyer Squadron 2: the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Bainbridge (DDG 96), USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), USS Mason (DDG 87) and USS Nitze (DDG 94).
Also operating with the ABECSG for COMPTUEX was the Álvaro de Bazán-class Spanish frigate ESPS Méndez Núñez (F 104). Carrier strike groups routinely participate in joint exercises and operations around the globe with allies and coalition partners, and the integration of Méndez Núñez within COMPTUEX is a visible demonstration of partnership and interoperability with a key ally.
The components of the Abraham Lincoln Strike Group embody a “team-of-teams” concept, combining advanced surface, air and systems assets to create and sustain operational capability. This enables them to prepare for and conduct global operations, have effective and lasting command and control, and demonstrate dedication and commitment to become the strongest warfighting force for the Navy and the nation.