The Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group (PEL ARG) and 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) completed its composite unit training exercise (COMPTUEX) off the coast of California, Aug. 7.
The PEL ARG consists of amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5), amphibious landing dock ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47) and amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20).
“COMPTUEX provided an opportunity for the PEL ARG and the 15th MEU to solidify our relationship and increase familiarity with each other,” said Cmdr. Brian Boycourt, Peleliu’s operations officer. “Because of dedication to continuous integration, both organizations have a stronger understanding of each other’s missions and procedures.”
The exercise tested the ARG ships’ specific warfare areas and missions, prior to an upcoming deployment.
Planners designed the scenarios to be as realistic as possible to ensure that the ARG is capable of conducting maritime security and flexibility.
“These missions were evaluated over many days while the ARG performed its duties in response to continuous, ever changing scenarios,” said Boycourt.
The scenarios included multiple restricted course maneuverings where the ARG’s self-defense forces integrated with Marine weapons teams as well as helicopters from the aviation combat element. Additionally, the complex exercise included non-combatant evacuation operations, a mechanized amphibious raid, an island seizure, tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel, casualty evacuation operations and several Marine insertions.
Flight and well deck operations also played their roles during the exercise by transporting equipment and personnel on helicopters and utility landing craft.
“As Deck department, we played a valuable asset to the mission at hand,” said Ensign Brandley Sinoc, Peleliu’s boatswain. “With combine efforts, we worked with the combat cargo team to make sure their manifest for personnel and heavy equipment was accurate.
The Air department directly supported the 15th MEU and ACE by conducted 1,061 launches and recoveries, 440 aircraft moves, and 201 elevator evolutions while spending 209 hours at flight quarters. The flagship served as a staging platform for launch and recovery of aircraft. This allowed the Navy/Marine Corps team flexibility for assaults and recovery of simulated injured personnel.
“These exercises continued to improve upon existing relationships and skills within the Navy/Marine Corps team and demonstrated the ability for an ARG to project power ashore,” said Capt. Monte Ulmer, Peleliu’s air boss. “I could not be happier with the effort, efficiency, and skill with which our Sailors performed during a very demanding COMPTUEX.”
To prepare for COMPUTEX, the ships reviewed operational processes, material and training readiness and areas for improvement. Warfare commanders stressed integrated training and learns lessoned from previous deployments.
“COMPTUEX allowed us to practice our pre-planned responses to various situations that we might encounter on deployment, and we were provided the opportunity to practice numerous missions that we could be called on to perform during deployment,” said Boycourt.
COMPTUEX promotes Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet’s training focus of providing training necessary for an effective global Navy in order to strengthen the ability to respond to crisis and protect the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners.
Naval Today Staff, August 9, 2012; Image: Wikimedia