USS John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group Completes JTFEX


USS John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCS CSG) completed a joint task force training exercise (JTFEX) June 8 off the coast of southern California.

JTFEX was a week-long exercise designed to test JCS CSG’s ability to operate in a hostile environment.

“Our crew could not have performed better,” said John C. Stennis Commanding Officer Capt. Ron Reis. “It was through top-down, bottom-up leadership intertwined with a collective sea warrior spirit that we consistently perform at such a high level. Sailors aboard Stennis are trained and ready to meet national tasking. Teamwork, superior skills and warfighting ethos will enable us to successfully meet any challenge we may confront during deployment.”

Throughout JTFEX, JCS CSG faced an assortment of simulated attacks, such as torpedoes and missile attacks from enemy aircraft and ships. General quarters was called depending on the response needed.

“The idea of JTFEX is to stress the importance of procedures and planned responses to certain threats and get into a tactical mind-set,” said Lt. Ji Theriot, one of Stennis’ tactical action officers.

JTFEX tested the capability of the strike group to operate with multinational forces and other military branches in a joint environment to combat threats.

“The scenario started where we left off during COMPTUEX,” said Master Chief Operations Specialist (SW) Brian Basset, operations department leading chief petty officer. “We continued to focus on our role in a joint environment while conducting sea combat operations.”

The constant flux of drills kept Sailors on alert and busy throughout the six-day exercise.

“JTFEX was packed with action; we were constantly moving,” said Theriot. “Problems operated around the clock.”

JTFEX was the final test JCS CSG had to demonstrate they can act and react as a cohesive fighting unit.

“We are ready for anything, but we need to continue to do better at everything we do,” said Stennis Executive Officer Capt. Michael Wettlaufer. “Continuous training is required to maintain readiness throughout deployment in order to be ready to do the nation’s bidding.”

With JTFEX complete, JCS CSG is ready for the upcoming deployment to the western Pacific and the Central Command area of responsibility to conduct maritime security operations.

JCS Strike Group Sailors performed exceedingly well during JTFEX. I am extremely proud of everyone’s efforts as we faced a complex battle problem; without a doubt the most challenging scenario presented to any carrier strike group,” said Rear Adm. Craig Faller, commander, John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group.

“These events put us through our paces in a short period of time,” he continued. “In the end, we proved that we are combat ready, prepared to take the fight to the enemy, and assist those in need across the globe. This would not have been possible if it weren’t for the focused efforts of all hands and solid deckplate leadership.”

JTFEX was the second major training evolution for Stennis, following a composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX) in May.

JCS CSG consists of John C. Stennis, Carrier Air Wing 9, Destroyer Squadron 21, guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), guided-missile destroyers USS Kidd (DDG 100), USS Dewey (DDG 105), USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) and USS Pinckney (DD G91).
Source: navy, June 14, 2011;