Ships from forward-deployed Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) worked with the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) to complete its certification exercise (CERTEX) Oct. 16.CERTEX is an evaluated event that determines if the 31st MEU is capable of doing certain missions such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations or non-combatant evacuation operations with the ARG.The certification process gives the Essex ARG and 31st MEU the opportunity to practice their skill sets in a combined and joint environment and is designed to increase both unit’s effectiveness.“This exercise validates our capability to perform a number of tasks that the 31st MEU has been ordered to perform in the past,” said Lt. Col. Brian Hawkins, 31st MEU operations officer. “We faced some challenges, but now we are certified and are planning for a real world operation.”Ships of the Essex ARG include the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), the amphibious transport dock ship USS Denver (LPD 9) and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42). Each ship and its crew members supported the MEU with the CERTEX.Essex provided a platform at sea from which the MEU conducted helicopter raids and visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) exercises. The Marines of the MEU also conducted combat rubber raiding craft operations from the ship’s well deck.Denver and Germantown provided platforms to conduct mechanized raids with the MEU’s amphibious assault vehicles launching from their well decks. Marines also used these ships to launch long range reconnaissance patrols and also used them to simulate a merchant vessel to conduct a VBSS.Capt. Bradley Lee, commander, Amphibious Squadron 11, said these types of exercises help maintain the ARG’s readiness to effectively respond to unforeseen events in the region and keep the skills of the Sailors and Marines sharp should their service be called upon. “The ARG did a great job with flexing to support the 31st MEU,” said Lee. “Our success during this exercise proves how important it is for the blue-green team to train together so that we can be prepared for real world challenges.”Essex is part of the Essex ARG, which reports to Commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet, Rear Adm. J. Scott Jones, who is headquartered in Okinawa, Japan.[mappress]Source: navy, October 18, 2011 View post tag: Unit October 18, 2011 USA: Essex Amphibious Ready Group Helps 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit to Complete CERTEX View post tag: Navy View post tag: Expeditionary View post tag: Amphibious View post tag: helps View post tag: complete View post tag: CERTEX View post tag: Naval View post tag: 31st View post tag: marine View post tag: Group View post tag: News by topic Back to overview,Home naval-today USA: Essex Amphibious Ready Group Helps 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit to Complete CERTEX Training & Education View post tag: usa View post tag: to View post tag: Essex Share this article View post tag: Ready
Shuga Budz Bakery in Wolverhampton is on the hunt for a larger premises to cope with a growth in business.Amelia Nutting, owner and Baking Industry Awards’ 2010 Celebration Cake Maker of the Year, told British Baker at the Alliance of Bakery Students and Trainees (ABST) Conference last weekend that she was looking to move from her Lower Street location in Tettenhall.Nutting told British Baker: “We are full to capacity at the moment, we can’t take on anymore business than we are already doing. We want to stay as local as possible as we have retained a good customer base her, and we could end up losing loyal customers if we go too far.”She added that the business is gaining momentum and producing more cupcakes and cakes for charity and corporate events, as well as the continuing success of Shuga Budz’s core line of celebration and wedding cakes.Nutting added: “As a result of all this great business coming our way, it would be great if we could have more staff on board but it just would not be feasible in the current site.”In a presentation to delegates at the Conference, Nutting said she hoped to have her own Shuga Budz cake café and gift shop as part of the move. “I like waking up every day to a new challenge,” she said.Nutting set up her business five years ago when she was 17 years old and within the space of three weeks, receiving no outside financial help. She currently employs three members of staff, as well as working in the bakery herself.She has gone on to compete in BBC3’s Young Baker of the Year TV series in January, in which she lost out to 17-year-old Tameside College student Oliver Campbell.