by Geoff Ziezulewicz
Washington (UPI) Sep 22, 2016
The USS Bonhomme Richard successfully engaged a target drone with a NATO Sea Sparrow missile during the Valiant Shield 2016 exercise on Sunday.
The firing of the surface-to-air missile off the coast of Guam was the first time the amphibious assault ship had fired its NATO system in five years, the sea service said in a statement.
The firing was conducted to test the ship's self-defense capabilities, as well as the watchstanders' abiliy to respond to an anti-ship cruise missile threat.
Bonhomme Richard, the flagship of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group, is currently participating in the Valiant Shield exercise.
Valiant Shield is a biennial, field training effort that focus on integration and joint training among U.S. forces.
It involves detecting, locating, tracking and engaging units at sea, air, land and in cyber space in a range of mission areas.
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