NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Just six months after pulling into homeport, ships from the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (IKE CSG) and Carrier Strike Group Two (CSG 2) are back underway for another deployment following a significant training exercise.

The strike group departed Thursday, Feb. 18, with seven ships, including the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, and eight squadrons from Carrier Air Wing Three.

The crews finished a rather historic Composite Unit Training Exercise (COMPTUEX) in which they worked with a NATO vignette and conducted training with SEALS from an East Coast-based Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Group for the first time in recent history.

“COMPTUEX provided graduate-level training that simulates the full spectrum of operations, low intensity to high-end combat that IKE CSG must be ready for,” said Rear Adm. Scott Robertson, commander, Carrier Strike Group Two.

He continued, “The live, virtual and constructive training with a NATO backdrop enabled the team to hone its application of integrated, multiple domain warfare. We are ready to deploy!”

According to officials, the NATO vignette was designed to train crews in facilitating “Allied maritime interoperability and integration,” by using NATO procedures and communication methods.

“To ensure truly effective deterrence and defense in the North Atlantic, we need to make sure that the navies of NATO can work as one team, and that means interoperability is vital,” said Commodore Tom Guy, Royal Navy, deputy director CJOS COE.

“This NATO vignette has been a great step forward in pursuing allied interoperability. CJOS COE looks forward to continuing to develop this for future deploying Strike Groups,” Guy continued.

The training with the NSW SEALS was also a success and included Boat and Reconnaissance units integrating with the strike group working on air support and offensive air operations as well as multi-mission combatant craft operations. 

As for preparations with the coronavirus, the sailors onboard the ships assigned to the strike group began receiving the first dosage of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccination on Saturday before heading out to sea.

COMPTUEX is a live, virtual, and constructive (LVC) training exercise that provides the crews with an opportunity to operate real equipment with “real risk.” Sailors work through different operations and threat scenarios to prepare them for upcoming deployments and underways.