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PACIFIC OCEAN - Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG) units, completed Tailored Ship's Training Availability (TSTA), Final Evolution Problem (FEP) and Group Sail (GRUSL), May 12, in preparation for their upcoming deployment.
TRCSG units include USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), USS Halsey (DDG 97), USS Higgins (DDG 76), USS Preble (DDG 88), USS Sampson (DDG 102), USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17, and Carrier Strike Group 9 staffs.
Group Sail is a pre-deployment underway which allows the TRCSG units to conduct exercises together in a maritime environment.
"We achieved two significant milestones this underway," said Capt. Craig Clapperton, commanding officer of Theodore Roosevelt. "First we completed TSTA early and with above average evaluation scores. This is an exceptional accomplishment given our compressed training timeline, and a real testament to the hard work and preparation by the Rough Rider crew."
Lt. Cmdr. David Crescitelli, assistant chief of staff plans officer, said this was TRCSG's only practice session before Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX).
"Running at the pace of deployed operations revealed areas we need to work on that will definitely improve as we gain experience operating as a strike group," said Crescitelli. "A few of the events TRCSG completed during Group Sail were indicative of deployed operations and we performed well."
Crescitelli said there is a thorough process of debriefing evolutions, learning lessons and incorporating those lessons into future events.
"We have a solid foundation from which to develop into a lethal combat force ready to execute COMPTUEX with precision," said Crescitelli. "The road will be long and not without struggle and hardship, but the resilience of our Sailors was readily apparent during Group Sail."
These real-world evolutions allowed the ships to execute many quality events that were indicative of deployed operations.
"We spent the second half of this underway in integrated training with the air wing, embarked staffs, and ships of the carrier strike group during Group Sail," said Clapperton. "Together we did very well and established the foundation of operations that we will build on for deployment. We completed several highly technical evolutions, successful flight operations and communication exercises. The Sailors and Marines on board performed very well, and I'm incredibly proud of the effort by this entire team. Their precise seamanship, airmanship and professionalism is impressive!"
With TSTA and FEP complete, Theodore Roosevelt returned to its homeport of San Diego and will begin preparations for its next test: COMPTUEX.