USS Mason (DDG 87) returned to its homeport in Mayport, Florida July 24, 2023 after the Dwight D. Eisenhower (IKE) Carrier Strike Group (CSG) returned to Norfolk, Virginia following its composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX).

COMPTUEX is an intense, multi-week exercise designed to fully integrate a carrier strike group as a cohesive, multi-mission fighting force and test their ability to carry out sustained combat operations from the sea.

“This underway has been our longest one since our 2019 deployment to the 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operations,” said Cmdr. Justin Smith, commanding officer of USS Mason. “I couldn’t be more proud and humbled to witness this crew come together, and show the results of months of intense tactical training, all of which led to seamless mission execution once we went out to sea.”

USS Mason (DDG 87) was underway for approximately two months with the IKE CSG, conducting a series of high-intensity tactical exercises for COMPTUEX in the Atlantic Ocean. Mason participated in an array of exercise operations including integrating with the Italian Carlo Bergamini-class frigate ITS Virginia Fasan (F 591), live-firing onboard weapons and visual information collection. The successful completion of this exercise highlights Mason’s ability to build capacity, improve effectiveness and increase interoperability alongside NATO allies.

“The crew performed incredibly well, really building that synergy and improving our performance day after day,” said Smith. “We are now returning to our homeport stronger and better prepared for our upcoming deployment. We are happy to be able to come back home to our families. It was a long and challenging underway, and we’re proud of having been able to play our role in this exercise. We look forward to going out to sea and over the horizon on our upcoming deployment.”

The crew is now home, resting and recovering from the exercise, and preparing for the upcoming challenges deployment will bring.