The Dwight D. Eisenhower (IKE) Carrier Strike Group (CSG) recently certified for deployment after successfully completing a composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX).

“The IKE Carrier Strike Group exhibited professionalism, teamwork, and determination as they tackled numerous challenges across a wide range of missions to include interoperability with our allies,” said Rear Admiral Max “Pepper” McCoy, commander, CSG-4. “It is CSG-4’s mission to ensure our naval forces are ready to sail, fight, and win, and the IKE Carrier Strike Group is ready.”

The 24-day COMPTUEX led by CSG Four (CSG-4) assessed IKE CSG’s ability to respond as an integrated, cohesive team through a series of increasingly challenging scenarios. Equally as important, the CSG-4 team provided training and mentorship to increase warfighting capability and capacity.

“This team has proven itself resilient, prepared to execute, and capable of carrying out its missions across all warfare areas in short order,” said Rear Adm. Marc Miguez, commander, CSG-2. “Each unit and its crew in the strike group has been laying the groundwork for months in preparation for this, and it’s clear – this team is combat-ready.”

The Italian Navy Carlo Bergamini-class frigate ITS Virginio Fasan (F 591) completed COMPTUEX with the IKE CSG to exercise NATO alliance integration as U.S. Navy forces have been making a deliberate shift from interoperability to interchangeability. Fasan and her crew previously operated as part of Carrier Strike Group 10, George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group during their deployment the Naval Forces Europe-Naval Forces Africa area of responsibility.

“COMPTUEX gave us the opportunity to sharpen our skills through complex exercises with our allies in the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group,” said Italian Navy Cmdr. Fabio Casamassima, commanding officer of Fasan. “We were able to exercise leadership of key warfare areas within the IKE strike group, which gave our Sailors opportunities to train, improve and work directly with their American counterparts. By focusing on mission, teamwork, and goal to achieve, we built on an already strong foundation between our navies and countries. This experience represented a valuable opportunity to improve and strengthen the partnership between Italy and the United States.”

During COMPTUEX, IKE CSG – including Fasan – rehearsed a transfer of authority (TOA) of command and control between U.S. 2nd Fleet and Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO), NATO’s rapidly deployable joint headquarters in Portugal. The strike group used NATO reporting procedures, messaging formats and chat capabilities, reinforcing command and control and aligning communications channels to ensure a seamless process in the event of a crisis. An ongoing series of exercises that include NATO integration support the development of interchangeability of Allied forces, and improve vital, Allied maritime command-and-control linkages.

“They threw everything at us including the kitchen sink, and our Warrior Sailors threw it right back at them,” said Capt. Christopher Hill, IKE’s commanding officer. “I am super proud of this team and for the hard work everyone has put in to make IKE the best damn ship in the Navy.”

The IKE CSG is an integrated combat weapons system that delivers superior combat capability to deter, and if necessary, defeat America’s adversaries in support of national security. Dwight D. Eisenhower is the flagship of CSG-2. CSG-2 is comprised of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Carrier Air Wing Three (CVW 3), Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 22, the Information Warfare Commander, and the Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58).