OCTOBER 31, 2016, ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) – Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer (DDG 57) USS Mitscher successfully conducts missile firing exercise and launched a Standard Missile (SM) off the coast of Virginia Oct. 18 as part of testing the latest version of the AEGIS Weapon System.
The SM was launched against a representative target which was successfully destroyed.
Cmdr. Brett Oster, commanding officer, was extremely pleased with the crew’s performance.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the crew coming together as a team after a long yard period. They demonstrated their professionalism and performed flawlessly. Their families and country should be proud of them and have the confidence that they are prepared to do their duty. It was a great day for each of them, Mitscher, and the Navy.”
Petty Officer 2nd Class Jeffrey Goforth was responsible for verifying the veracity of the firing solution information and firing the missile. His role as the Missile Systems Supervisor ensured the missile was aligned to the target.
“It’s always exciting to fire a missile whether it’s in training or in real life. These types of events are the key to prepare us to go into harm’s way and to be able to defend the ship against any threat.”
Goforth spoke about his confidence in his team to launch a missile in defense of the Mitscher and shared his optimism on future improvement.
“I think we’ll only get better because we will go into a training phase where we will spend a large amount of time honing our skills.”
Mitscher recently completed the AEGIS ACB-12 upgrade during and Extended Dry-dock Selected Restricted Availability where major portions of the ship’s combat systems were upgraded. The missile shoot is part of Mitscher’s overall test schedule that will flex the entire combat system ensuring total combat lethality.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Richard Tennant, who operated the SPY-1(D) phased array radar, shared his thoughts on the success of the exercise. He gave an insider’s perspective highlighting the hard work of his division and the technical support industry partners.
“The AEGIS Fire Controlmen put in an incredible amount of effort and time to ensure the system was operating perfectly.
The support we received from our industry partners was excellent and was a great help in being prepared. It was a total team effort to successfully shoot down the target!”
Mitscher is the second U.S. Navy warship named in honor of Adm. Marc A. Mitscher. Adm. Mitscher was a famed naval aviator who earned distinction as one of the U.S. Navy’s great battle commanders in his 41 years of service to his country.