The US Navy’s amphibious transport dock, USS San Antonio (LPD 17), has successfully completed a composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX), prior to future deployment.
The exercise, which saw participation of the LPD’s sailors and marines and the embarked 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), evaluated and prepared the ship’s and the Wasp Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) as an individual as well as an unit for an operational deployment.
San Antonio commanding officer captain Mike Patterson said: "The goal of this exercise is to demonstrate that the San Antonio can accomplish the full range of missions we may be tasked with during our deployment, and I would say we met that goal.
"We demonstrated that we could operate successfully as an integrated ARG / MEU team under very challenging conditions and in a complex environment."
The exercise involved a series of drills to evaluate the crew’s capability to respond to different situations, ranging from maritime patrol, humanitarian assistance to visit, board, search-and-seizure operations.
It marks the completion of the integrated phase of the ship’s training cycle and the certification of San Antonio as deployment ready.
Patterson added: "We are designed to operate as one team.
"The MEU needs the support of the ARG, and the ARG has only limited missions that we can perform without the MEU. It was great to see the Navy and Marine Corps team come together and execute our missions flawlessly."
The Wasp ARG includes Amphibious Squadron Six, the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1), San Antonio, the amphibious dock landing ship USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41), and the 22nd MEU.
Image: Marine from 22nd MEU in action during the exercise. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jacob Mathews/Released.