The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS James E. Williams (DDG 95) is participating in a composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX) while underway in the Atlantic Ocean Jan. 16 to certify the ship for its upcoming fourth deployment.
The goal of the exercise is to integrate and assess the staff and individual units within the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group, and to grant the strike group major operations certification upon completion.
“COMPTUEX is the last major battle group exercise that the James E. Williams will have before we deploy with the Enterprise Strike Group this spring,” said Cmdr. Christopher M. Senenko, the commanding officer of James E. Williams.
“It’s a last opportunity for the battle group to integrate, demonstrate all the mission sets we possibly may encounter on deployment, and get certification from the operational chain-of-command,” said Senenko.
“The James E. Williams is underway with other forces, with live aircraft, live surface ships, and live submarines, flexing their combat systems in a real world type environment,” said Cmdr. Luke L. Reinhold, the assistant maritime operations officer at Strike Force Training Command Atlantic.
COMPTUEX incorporates a myriad of missions to include air defense, maritime interdiction, and anti-submarine warfare.
“Just about every evolution in every warfare area is evaluated in some facet,” said Reinhold. “The main objective is integrated training with the entire Strike Group and all the different staff and warfare commanders.”
The COMPTUEX scenario involves a friendly ally at war in a highly volatile area prone to terrorism. Training vessels and personnel play the roles of hostile forces within each exercise.
These exercises not only help assess the operational readiness of each unit within the strike group, but also establish an element of situational realism that represents potential real threats the James E. Williams may encounter while deployed.
The exercises offer Sailors valuable experience operating the many different areas of the destroyer’s assets; including weapons, navigation, and radar systems.
“For a lot of [Sailors] this is the first time they’ll actually get to see their systems work against real assets and operate within an actual strike group scenario,” said Reinhold.
“It’s a great opportunity for the crew to practice their skills,” said Senenko. “They’re professionals, and this is why they joined the Navy.”
Naval Today Staff , January 18, 2012; Image: navy