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Decommissioned guided-missile frigate Curts sunk during Valiant Shield exercise

The decommissioned guided-missile frigate Curts has sunk off the coast of Guam, according to the Navy.

The service said the frigate was put to the bottom of the ocean as part of exercise Valiant Shield on Saturday as joint forces utilized a series of air, surface and subsurface missiles.

“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,” Capt. Steven DeMoss, commodore of Destroyer Squadron 15, said in a Navy news release. “We have this capability in every theater across the globe and can employ these weapons at the place and time of our choosing.”

Fixed and rotary wing squadrons from Carrier Air Wing 5 fired an air-launched ordnance during the multi-platform live-fire missile exercise while guided missile cruisers Antietam and Shiloh shot off surface-launched missiles, the Navy said. Fast-attack submarine Chicago also fired a subsurface launched missile to sink the frigate, which was decommissioned in 2013.

The joint forces exercise also involved supporting Navy and Air Force aircraft. For example, the Air Force provided KC-135s and KC-10s from the 909th Air Refueling Squadron and 9th Air Refueling Squadron for tanker support.

“The experience gained by our crews can only be achieved with live fire events like this one and cannot be replicated through simulated engagements,” Capt. Michael Rovenolt, commander, Carrier Air Wing 5, said in a Navy news release. “Our ordnance and maintenance teams got the satisfaction of seeing their labors produce actual results on a maritime target...very rewarding for them.”

Additionally, the Antietam completed a Tomahawk Land Attack Missile strike scenario on Sunday. The live fire exercise targeted the Farallon de Medinilla range on a small island off the coast of Guam.

“The TLAM exercise...provides the entire Ronald Reagan Strike Group the opportunity to exercise critical war fighting skills that helps the warfighter refine their tactical abilities to respond to a full range of military response options that are available in defense of our shared interests in the Asia Pacific region,” Capt. Russell Caldwell, commanding officer of the Antietam, said in a Navy news release.

This is the eighth iteration of Valiant Shield, which has been conducted every other year since 2006. The exercise is being conducted in Guam and near the Mariana Islands Range Complex and will wrap up on Sept. 25.

According to the Navy, the exercise is designed to target integrated training in a blue-water environment and capitalizes on detecting, locating, tracking, and engaging units via air, land, sea and cyberspace.

In addition to the Antietam, Chicago, and the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group, amphibious warship America, amphibious transport dock New Orleans, amphibious dock landing ship Comstock, along with Carrier Air Wing 5 and multiple surface ships have been participating in the exercise since Sept. 14.

The Navy estimates that the exercise involves approximately 11,000 Navy, Air Force, Army and Marine Corps personnel.

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