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Normandy Completes COMPTUEX

Normandy Completes COMPTUEX

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Justin R. DiNiro, USS Normandy (CG 60) Public Affairs.
Norfolk, Virginia – (NNS) – February 6, 2015 – The guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60) returned to homeport, Feb. 6 after the completion of composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX) in preparation for a slated deployment.

Synthetic tracking exercise aboard the cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60)

COMPTUEX is a compilation of intense training scenarios designed to test a ship's ability to collaborate with other units in a carrier strike group (CSG) on all levels and all departments in a multitude of exercises based upon real world scenarios, which allow the ship to be deployable.

"We took our previous trainings and, from the start, we noticed our areas of improvement, and we gauged what areas we should fortify just a little more to really flex how much we've learned," said Cmdr. Rochelle Hill, Normandy's executive officer, from Clearwater, Florida. "One of the apexes of this volume of training is to exhibit our procedures and ability to work cohesively as a strike group. Bottom line: this was an incredible learning experience for all of us."

"It is like war games on full blast. Every second of every day is spent engaging contacts, identifying potential threats and measuring your proper response to any scenario," said Operations Specialist 1st Class Yusef Robertson, from Queens, New York. "Normandy has a role essentially playing big brother in protecting the strike group, and we have to act and engage every situation with a technical prowess that can only be developed in an exercise like COMPTUEX."

Right out of the gate, fast attack craft (FAC), masquerading as hostile enemy vessels, attacked Normandy, and the exercise begins. Leadership called up the Ship Nautical or Otherwise Photographic Interpretation Evaluation (SNOOPIE) team for visual identification. The ship's small craft action team (SCAT) manned its weapons, and the level of intensity rose exponentially.

"SCAT is a vital role in the defense capabilities of the ship. Our line of defense is essential when engaging fast action craft and covering the areas where our major surface defense weapons might not reach," said Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Matthew Allen, from Houston, Texas. "We train in all areas of crew served weapons, such as the M240B machine gun and M2 HB .50-caliber mounted heavy weight machine gun. There is a lot of practice spent firing these weapons to keep our eyes and accuracy intact."

USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81), USS Normandy (CG 60) follow behind USS Forrest Sherman

COMPTUEX takes all hands from all departments syncing their minds and relaying messages to properly demonstrate the capabilities of a fully functioning deployable Navy cruiser. The combat information center (CIC) buzzed with calls over the 1MC, the ship's intercom system, of incoming attacks, potential targets, evaluation of threats and the extermination of our simulated target vessels.

"The combat information center is essentially the brains of the ship. When you think about it, we are simulating potential real-world scenarios, and every exercise tests your ability to work as a ship, as a strike group and overall as a department," said Robertson. "We have to be able to control the flow of force and be able to rely on each and every individual to work for a greater purpose. It can get hectic and tiring, but this is what we train for."

Normandy never stopped operating. From dusk until dawn, minds raced. Sailors onboard focused on operations: damage control drills, engineering checks, combat systems test and displays and more than a fair share of general quarters (GQ) drills.

"General quarters is the essential damage control drill and worst case scenario, if we were ever attacked. There is an alarm that goes off in your head, almost a preplanned response, of what you need to do and where to be," said Navy Counselor 1st Class Wayne Savannah, damage control training team leader. "It is beyond important that we exercise this because we all need to be prepared to respond at a moment's notice in case the ship ever received damage. We prepare for the worst hoping it never comes into play."

"We have a fairly junior crew onboard Normandy, so overall this exercise was an invaluable learning experience for getting our Sailors in the mindset of understanding their mission," said Hill. "Normandy has an exceptionally talented crew, and it's fair to say that everyone onboard truly has a comprehension of what it means to be operational and a baseline expectation for potential real-world circumstances."

Near the end of COMPTUEX, the captain spoke over the 1MC, encouraging the crew to "finish the Normandy."

"I've heard multiple compliments of how professional we have remained and how excellent our performance has been through this underway," said Capt. S. F. Robertson, commanding officer. "You've all done a fantastic job, and the hard work is noticed. Thank you for that."

Normandy's crew exemplifies camaraderie and hard work under pressure. Her Sailors grind through any challenge that comes their way with an incredible level of integrity and diligence unmatched in many ways.

I have complete faith in my Sailors," said Robertson. "Time and time again they step up to the plate and blow these exercises out of the water."

Normandy deploys with the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG) later this year to provide an overseas forward presence and maintain maritime security abroad.

The TRCSG consists of the staff of Carrier Strike Group 12, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 2 and her ships the guided-missile destroyers USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81), USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98) and USS Farragut (DDG 99). Independent deployers USS McFaul (DDG 74) and USS Laboon (DDG 58) also participated in the TRCSG COMPTUEX, which is conducted by Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 4.

Join the conversation with Normandy online at www.facebook.com/USSNormandy and www.Twitter.com/Normandy. For more news from Normandy, visit www.navy.mil/local/cg60/.

    For more news from Carrier Strike Group 4, visit www.navy.mil/local/csg4/.

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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).