The Sailors, ships, squadrons and staffs of the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group successfully completed the final deployment certification exercise, June 30. In addition to the U.S. Navy participants, the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, the Italian destroyer ITS Caio Duilio (D 554) and submarines from Brazil and Colombia joined the strike group to increase interoperability and capability with allies and partners during composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX), which was led by Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 4. COMPTUEX is designed to fully integrate the GHWBCSG, under the command of CSG 10, as a cohesive, multi-mission fighting force and test the group’s ability to carry out sustained combat operations from the sea. COMPTUEX lasts several weeks, during which units are tested on their proficiency and readiness for deployment through scenario-based, live training, that increases in complexity and intensity.
The exercise allowed the ships, aircraft, and staffs to work together in response to specific scenarios across all warfare areas, and to refine their ability to communicate and fight alongside one another in a realistic training environment that included academic, synthetic and live training events. For the first time during a COMPTUEX, a marine expeditionary unit (MEU) integrated virtually into the events from Expeditionary Warfare Training Group, Atlantic (EWTGLANT). This training allowed the 26th MEU to increase staff proficiency across various warfighting functions and provided a unique experience to exercise naval interoperability. During COMPTUEX, the strike group also conducted the fourth iteration of the NATO vignette developed by CSG 4 and Combined Joint Operations from the Sea Centre of Excellence (CJOS COE).
NATO vignette refers to a period of time during which a NATO command exercises command and control of exercise participants. The GHWBCSG team 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. NATO vignettes also support the development of interoperability requirements for future force generation and improve allied maritime command and control linkages that are vital in all phases of warfare.
George H.W. Bush provides the national command authority flexible, tailorable warfighting capability as the flagship of a carrier strike group that maintains maritime stability and security to ensure access, deter aggression and defend U.S., allied and partner interests. The GHWBCSG 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. GHWBCSG’s major command elements are the aircraft carrier USS. George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), the Information Warfare Commander, and Italian Navy destroyer ITS Caio Duilio (D 554). The ships of DESRON 26 within the GHWBCSG are USS Nitze (DDG 94), USS Truxtun (DDG 103) homeported in Norfolk, Va. and USS Farragut (DDG 99) and USS Delbert D. Black (DDG 119) homeported in Mayport, Fl.