USS Gerald R. Ford starts final exercise before deployment

The sailors, ships, squadrons and staff of the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group (GRFCSG) commenced their final deployment certification exercise, Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX), on 2 March.

US Navy

Orchestrated by CSG 4 staff, COMPTUEX is designed to test and push the limits of the first-in-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) through a thorough, multi-week scenario that will prepare the crew for high-end warfighting.

Credit: US Navy

Focused on a range of simulated combat situations, including aircraft, submarine and missile attacks, ship casualties and engineering and communication drills, COMPTUEX’s scenario will evolve and mirror the real-world geopolitical environment to prepare the GRFCSG for its upcoming deployment.

This will be Ford’s first COMPTUEX. This training will allow the carrier strike group to increase staff proficiency across various warfighting functions and provided a unique experience to exercise naval interoperability.

“Gerald R. Ford Sailors and those hard-working professionals on our extended team, Carrier Air Wing Eight and embarked staffs have worked diligently toward this goal for years, learning and mastering an array of new systems,” said Capt. Paul Lanzilotta, Ford’s commanding officer.

“Going into COMPTUEX, the capstone training event prior to deployment, every warrior in Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8 is looking forward to getting underway to further hone our tactical edge while operating from the sea onboard the world’s most advanced and capable aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford,” said Capt. Dan Catlin, Commander, CVW 8.

The GRFCSG includes the staff of CSG 12, CVW-8 and DESRON 2 stationed in Norfolk. Participating units include the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford, Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60), and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Ramage (DDG 61), USS McFaul (DDG 74) homeported in Norfolk, Va. and USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116).