SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Nimitz Carrier Strike
Group (CSG) 11 and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 took their final steps toward deployment as they completed the Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) March 2.
The exercise was designed to test the group’s ability to operate in a complex, hostile environment along with other U.S. and coalition forces.
“This was a perfect opportunity for everyone to come together to hone their skills,” said Command Master Chief (AW/SW) Billy Ward. “It’s important the strike group has an opportunity to work together as a cohesive unit before we head to the tip of the spear.”
JTFEX effectively simulated real-world situations Nimitz could encounter during its time in the Persian Gulf.
“I know we have the talent and skill to take on any challenge and win,” Ward said.
Capt. Ted Branch, Nimitz’ Commanding Officer, held captain’s call March 3 for the ship’s crew. This was his last underway period as the ship’s captain.
“Nobody can remember the last time a strike group finished [JTFEX] early,” Branch said. “Nimitz did. It was just a stellar job.”
Nimitz crew members also participated in a general quarters drill, a supply management inspection and hosted more than 50 distinguished visitors during the ship’s 10-day underway.
“We have an incredibly talented and multifaceted crew,” Ward said.
As a result of the strike group’s hard work and perseverance in successfully completing the JTFEX, U.S. 3rd Fleet Commander, Vice Adm. Barry Costello, is expected to certify the USS Nimitz Carrier
Strike Group "ready for deployment."
More than 6,000 Sailors and Marines participated in JTFEX. The Nimitz Strike Group includes: Nimitz; Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11; CVW-11; Commander, Destroyer Squadron 23; USS Princeton (CG 59); USS Higgins
(DDG 76); USS Chafee (DDG 90); USS John Paul Jones
(DDG 53); Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 11; and Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadrons 37 and 49.
Homeported in San Diego, Nimitz is the flagship for CSG 11.
By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Alexander Ameen and Mass Communcation Specialist Sarah Bitter, Commander, Carrier Strike Group 11/USS Nimitz Strike Group Public Affairs