Ships assigned to the U.S. Navy’s Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10 launched a Standard Missile (SM) 2 or Rolling-Airframe Missile (RAM)at an aerial target during a Live Fire With A Purpose (LFWAP) event, Sept. 11-12.
LFWAP is an exercise employed by the Naval Surface and Mine Warfare Development Center (SMWDC) to test the proficiency and combat readiness of each ship’s self-defense systems by shooting down a subsonic and supersonic target drone. The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), the Arleigh-Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Stout (DDG 55), USS James E. Williams (DDG 95), and USS Truxtun (DDG 103), the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) and USS San Jacinto (CG 56), and the De Zeven Provincien-class frigate HMNLS De Ruyter (F 804) all took part in the exercise.
“We built different scenarios that we could possibly see in a combat environment, and we trained to that,” said Lt. Cmdr. Darek Marino, the operations officer aboard San Jacinto. “As a result, we went through our communications and procedures and tested and validated the procedures with live ordnance.”
The planning, preparation and training for this exercise took many weeks and a lot of effort from many different people across the strike group.
“The whole process starts two weeks out,” said Senior Chief Fire Controlman (Aegis) Josjua Scheib, one of the combat systems coordinators aboard the San Jacinto. “Part of that is planning and getting the clearance to do it, as well the right people and resources.”
San Jacinto played the specific role of air and missile defense commander and officer and tactical command for the participating ships.
“We took tactical control of the other ships, put them in formation, split them out accordingly depending on their event and managed their position on the water to make sure the range was clear,” said Lt. Cmdr. Alexander Kelly, the San Jacinto’s combat systems officer.
To ensure the safety of the ships and their crews, the supersonic targets were launched in a manner to where they would fly by the ship, and the subsonic targets were able to be remotely controlled and detonated so as to be able to steer away from a ship or self-detonate in the case of a missed target.
Each participating ship shot down one subsonic target and one ship was able to take down a supersonic target as well.
“Everyone performed great,” said Marino. “The combat systems worked as designed. Everyone showed they understand the intricacies of working together, identifying a threat and being able to engage a target.”