NEWS | Oct. 10, 2017

MITSCHER, NATO FORCES SUCCESSFULLY INTERCEPTS BALLISTIC MISSILE TARGET

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Casey J. Hopkins

The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG 57) along with ten other U.S. and coalition warships successfully intercepted an anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM) target during a live-fire air defense exercise as a part of Exercise Formidable Shield (FS) 2017, Oct. 7.

Together, the combined NATO forces used an integrated network to relay missile information allowing ships to engage and destroy all threats.

Mitscher fired two Standard Missile (SM) 2 Block 3A missiles from its forward and aft Vertical Launching Systems at two FireJet and Mirach drones, which were launched from an area off the western coast of Scotland known as the Hebrides.

Mitscher Sailors and embarked Destroyer Squadron 2 staff have spent months preparing for this evolution along with the many other Formidable Shield events.

“Thirteen NATO ships formed up in the East Atlantic, poised to demonstrate their ability to track a ballistic missile in flight while engaging inbound anti-ship cruise missile simultaneously,” said Lt. Benjamin Bond, the Operations Officer onboard Mitscher.

“Together NATO forces used an integrated network to relay missile information allowing ships to engage and destroy all threats,” Bond continued.

FS-17 is a U.S. 6th Fleet-led, Naval Striking and Supporting Forces NATO-conducted exercise designed to improve allied interoperability in a live-fire integrated air and missile-defense environment using NATO command and control reporting structures.