The US Navy conducted a Tomahawk land-attack cruise missile (TLAM) strike scenario targeting the Farallon de Medinilla range, located on an uninhabited 200-acre island off the coast of Guam on September 20.
Launched from USS Antietam (CG 54) the TLAM test strike was a part of Valliant Shield 2020, a US only, biennial field training exercise (FTX) with a focus on integration of joint training in a blue-water environment among US forces.
This exercise demonstrates Antietam’s ability to track, target, and engage threats to protect peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific, a US Navy statement said.
“The United States military is committed to preserving security, maintaining regional stability, and remaining postured to respond to a wide variety of contingencies,” said Capt. Russell Caldwell, commanding officer USS Antietam in a statement released by the US Navy.
The launch comes at a time of repeated Chinese incursions into the Taiwan Strait and exercises near the disputed Islands of South China Sea (SCS). China has test-launched what it calls its “aircraft –carrier killer” missile during the exercises. China has militarized artifical islands in the SCS building bases for long range bombers.
“The TLAM exercise, as part of the overall Valiant Shield 20 scenario, provides the entire Ronald Regan Strike Group the opportunity to exercise critical war fighting skills that helps the warfighter refine their tactical abilities in defense of our shared interests in the Asia Pacific region,” Capt. Russell Caldwell added.
De-commissioned US Navy ship sunk
US joint armed forces conducted a multi-platform live-fire missile exercise, Sept. 19, involving surface, air, and subsurface launched ordnance to sink the decommissioned frigate USS Curts (FFG 38) as part of exercise Valiant Shield 2020.
The sinking exercise (SINKEX) combined an orchestrated sequence of live ordnance targeting the ex-USS Curts, including air-launched ordnance from fixed and rotary wing squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, embarked aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), surface launched missiles from cruisers USS Antietam (CG 54) and Shiloh (CG 67), a subsurface launched missile from Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Chicago (SSN 721), as well as various supporting Navy and U.S. Air Force aircraft.
“This exercise demonstrates our ability to bring overwhelming firepower from the sea whether that comes from under the surface, on the surface, or from the air,” said Capt. Steven DeMoss, commodore, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15. “We have this capability in every theater across the globe and can employ these weapons at the place and time of our choosing.”