Guided-missile cruiser USS Hue City (CG 66) completed four weeks of multi-mission training in preparation for its upcoming deployment as part of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 2, July 19.
“After our four weeks underway for group sail, I can see a noticeable difference in the overall performance of Hue City,” said Capt. Dan Gillen, Hue City commanding officer. “Our Sailors are better at communicating and coordinating with other ships in the strike group.”
Hue City took part in group sail in order to improve at-sea interoperability with Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 22 and CSG 2 assets.
The main focus of the training period was to work alongside other CSG 2 ships as part of a group sail, embark helicopter detachment for familiarization training, and train independently in various mission areas needed to deploy.
“This underway was invaluable for training our ship to operate on deployment,” said Gillen.
Hue City teamed up with guided-missile destroyers USS Truxtun (DDG 103), USS Mahan (DDG 72), USS Cole (DDG 67), USS Laboon (DDG 58) and guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58). Hue City also embarked a detachment from the “Spartans” of Helicopter Maritime Squadron (HSM) 70 for group sail.
The air-surface interoperability between Hue City and embarked helicopter detachment was perfected during routine flight operations practiced on a daily basis.
“We’re happy to be back on board USS Hue City, integrating with the ship as an air department for CSG 2 group sail,” said HSM 70 Air Boss Lt. Cmdr. Nathan Harrell. “Our time underway with the Hue City ‘Golden Dragons’ allowed us to build an outstanding professional relationship with each other as we learned how to maximize our warfighting potential in several key warfare areas.”
Throughout the duration of the underway, Hue City conducted a multitude of operations to include searching for submarines, maneuvering in screens with accompanying ships, simulating defense against inbound aircraft and conducting flight operations with MH-60R Seahawk helicopters.
“Our lessons learned over the last several weeks have set a strong foundation for integration into CSG 2, and our detachment is looking forward to continuing to build on that foundation as we prepare for follow-on work-ups and ultimately deployment with Hue City,” said Harrell.