US Navy aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and ships from its carrier strike group (ABECSG) departed Naval Station Norfolk for the final pre-deployment exercise on January 25.
The undertaking is called the Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) and is designed to assess a strike group’s ability to conduct military operations at sea and project power ashore through joint planning and execution of challenging and realistic training scenarios.
USS Abraham Lincoln is scheduled to deploy in April this year, for the first time since 2013 when the ship started a four-year refueling overhaul. Lincoln departed the shipyard in Virginia in May 2017 and has since completed carrier qualifications (CQ) for the F-35C Lightning II and helped test ATARI – a system designed to remotely land aircraft on a carrier. Lincoln also hosted film crews aboard shooting footage for the Top Gun sequel.
During COMPTUEX, ABECSG will be evaluated on their ability to integrate all assets of the strike group into a cohesive, multi-mission fighting force, and their ability to carry out sustained combat operations at sea. The goal of COMPTUEX is to achieve certification for deployment.
ABECSG is comprised of its flagship, the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55) and ships assigned to Destroyer Squadron 2: the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Bainbridge (DDG 96), USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), USS Mason (DDG 87) and USS Nitze (DDG 94).
In addition, the Spanish Navy Álvaro de Bazán-class frigate ESPS Méndez Núñez (F 104) is joining CSG 12 for the exercise.