Navy deploys new ship; tests latest missile off Guam waters

Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) launches a Naval Strike Missile (NSM) during exercise Pacific Griffin. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon Renfroe)

The Navy successfully tested its latest naval strike missile using the newly deployed littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) off Guam waters.

According to U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs, the missile firing test was carried out during Pacific Griffin, a biennial exercise conducted in the waters near Guam aimed at enhancing combined proficiency at sea while strengthening relationships between the U.S. and Republic of Singapore navies.

The Naval Strike Missile is a long-range, precision strike weapon that can find and destroy enemy ships at distances up to 100 nautical miles away. The stealthy missile flies at sea-skimming altitude, has terrain-following capability and uses an advanced seeker for precise targeting in challenging conditions.

Rear Adm. Joey Tynch, commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific, who oversees security cooperation for the U.S. Navy in Southeast Asia, said the USS Gabrielle Giffords’ deployment sent a crystal clear message of continued U.S. commitment to maritime security in the region.

According to the Navy, the USS Gabrielle Giffords’ deployment represents a milestone for the U.S. Navy and LCS lethality, and marks the first time that an NSM has sailed into the Indo-Pacific region.

The USS Gabrielle Giffords is on her maiden deployment and arrived in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility on Sept. 16, for a rotational deployment to the Indo-Pacific region.

This marks the first time two LCS have deployed to the Indo-Pacific region simultaneously. The Gabrielle Giffords is the fifth LCS to deploy to U.S. 7th Fleet, following USS Freedom (LCS 1), USS Fort Worth (LCS 3), USS Coronado (LCS 4) and the currently-deployed USS Montgomery (LCS 8).