The Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) returned to San Diego, June 23, after completing a near two week Certification Exercise (CERTEX) in preparation for a scheduled deployment.
CERTEX is a comprehensive, complex training evolution that combines the Navy and Marine Corps maritime and sea-to-shore capabilities challenging Sailors and Marines to carry out a variety of operations that mirror real-life scenarios.
“A successful CERTEX provides us with the ability to say that we are ready to answer our nation’s call,” said Capt. Victor Cooper, the commodore of the ARG and commander of Amphibious Squadron (COMPHIBRON) 5. “It certifies that all of the vastly different components that make up our team can come together and form a stronger and more complete unit to accomplish any task within our scope of capabilities.”
Operations included various amphibious operations and ship-to-shore movements, combat rubber raiding craft drills, day and night flight operations, mass casualty drills, damage control preparations, communication emission exercises, weapons familiarization training and visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) exercises.
The Makin Island ARG includes the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8), amphibious transport dock ship USS San Diego (LPD 22), and dock landing ship USS Comstock (LSD 45).
The ARG departed its homeport in San Diego, June 10, to kick off CERTEX, the last stage of work-ups before their upcoming deployment.
Press Release, June 24, 2014; Image: US Navy