YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67) received the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance Missile Defender of the Year award Dec. 12 for the 7th Fleet area of operations in recognition of excellence and leadership in missile defense.
The Missile Defender of the Year award is an annual honor given by the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, a non-profit organization devoted to building a wide range of successful missile defense systems for the U.S.
The award recognizes and honors U.S. military commands and members who deploy on missile defense systems.
"This honor is awarded to a ship or a platform that has a lot of input and play in the BMD [ballistic missile defense] world," said Capt. Kurush F. Morris, Shiloh's commanding officer. "We are very honored to be given this award."
Shiloh is part of the George Washington Carrier Strike Group, forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, and has participated in an array of multilateral ballistic missile defense operations and exercises with partner nation navies to emphasize the importance of security and stability in the region.
"Shiloh is currently the only Ticonderoga class cruiser assigned to the 7th Fleet that is BMD capable," said Morris. "Our primary mission is air defense and ballistic missile defense. If a missile is deemed to be coming toward our homeland, it is our responsibility to be on station to be able to either track [the missile] and hand off, or engage it if need be."
Morris added that bringing the newest and most advanced BMD capabilities to 7th Fleet is a clear demonstration of the Navy's commitment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific rebalance.
Shiloh is assigned to Task Force 70, which has operational control of all carrier strike groups and independently deployed cruisers, destroyers and frigates in the 7th Fleet area of operations.
The U.S. 7th Fleet conducts forward deployed naval operations in support of U.S. national interests in the Indo-Asia-Pacific area of operations. As the U.S. Navy's largest numbered fleet, 7th Fleet interacts with 35 other maritime nations to build partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability and prevent conflict.