Kearsarge amphibious group ships complete final pre-deployment exercise

Ships from US Navy’s Kearsarge amphibious ready group (ARG) have wrapped up the three-week composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX).

The ARG’s COMPTUEX focused on simultaneous missions and enhanced realism to test the capabilities of the Kearsarge ARG and the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) prior to their upcoming deployment.

The exercise included embarked Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 264, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 26, and Assault Craft Unit 4.

“The Kearsarge ARG, 22nd MEU, and accompanying destroyers, successfully completed a demanding and realistic test,” said Capt. Daniel S. Blackburn, commander, Kearsarge ARG.

Scenarios tested the Kearsarge ARG and 22nd MEU’s ability to overcome obstacles such as small boat attacks, mines and enemy aircraft; as well as real-time operations including refueling at sea, flight operations and amphibious landings.

“There is no other way to forge the habits—and vital trust in our shipmates – which deployment demands than by the arduous experiences built in training,” said Blackburn. “Every sailor and marine onboard Kearsarge, Arlington, Fort McHenry, McFaul and Gravely has worked hard and we have now earned the right to deploy.”

The Kearsarge ARG consists of Amphibious Squadron 6, the 22nd MEU, the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington (LPD 24), and Whidbey Island-class amphibious dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43).

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS McFaul (DDG 74) and USS Gravely (DDG 107) also participated in COMPTUEX.

Photo: The Kearsarge ARG is underway in formation as part of a strait transit exercise during the Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 4 composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX). Photo: US Navy