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NEWS | Sept. 21, 2020

USS Antietam Conducts Tomahawk Live-fire Missile Shoot for Exercise Valiant Shield

By Petty Officer 1st Class Gregory Juday Commander, Task Force 70 / Carrier Strike Group 5

PACIFIC OCEAN -- USS Antietam (CG 54) conducted a tomahawk land attack cruise-missile (TLAM) strike scenario, Sept. 20, targeting the Farallon de Medinilla range, located on an uninhabited 200-acre island off the coast of Guam as part of Valliant Shield 2020.

Valiant Shield is a U.S. only, biennial field training exercise (FTX) with a focus on integration of joint training in a blue-water environment among U.S. forces. This training enables real-world proficiency in sustaining joint forces through detecting, locating, tracking and engaging units at sea, in the air, on land and in cyberspace in response to a range of mission areas.

“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. “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 to respond to a full range of military response options that are available in defense of our shared interests in the Asia Pacific region.”

This exercise demonstrates the Antietam’s ability to track, target, and engage threats to protect peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific.

Valiant Shield is a series of military exercises that promote integration among the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. Each successive exercise builds on lessons learned from the previous training to enhance complementary capabilities and develop new tactics, techniques, and procedures. This training increases the deterrence and stabilizing effects of a joint force, ready to respond to any contingency.

This is the eighth exercise in the Valiant Shield series that began in 2006. This year’s participants include USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Carrier Strike Group with embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW 5), USS Chicago (SSN 721), USS America (LHA 6), USS New Orleans (LPD 18), USS Comstock (LSD 45) and multiple surface ships -- approximately 100 aircraft and an estimated 11,000 personnel from the U.S. Navy, Air Force, Army, and Marine Corps. Valiant Shield focuses on integration of training in a blue-water environment. This training enables real-world proficiency in sustaining joint forces through detecting, locating, tracking, and engaging units at sea, in the air, on land, and cyberspace in response to a range of mission areas.
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