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At Sea - USS Sterett (DDG 104) conducted on operational test launch of a Tomahawk cruise missile while underway off the coast on southern California on November 28th. (Photo by CTT1(SW/IDW/AW) Timothy Peloquin)
USS Sterett Conducts Successful Tomahawk Test Launch 
By ENS Steven Mulherin, USS Sterett Public Affairs 
USS Sterett, San Diego – USS Sterett (DDG 104) conducted a successful operational test launch of a Tomahawk cruise missile last week while the ship was underway in the Southern California Naval Operating Area.

On the morning of November 28th, USS Sterett shot her first Tomahawk since 2010 off the coast of San Nicolas Island, the home of a military weapons testing and training facility. The Tomahawk was shot from one of the launchers on the ship’s forecastle. Immediately following the launch, the missile flew off into the distance followed by a distinct trail of white smoke. Aiding in observation and analysis of the test launch were F/A-18 fighters from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 31 based out of China Lake, California.

“Anytime we shoot a Tomahawk cruise missile, it is a valuable opportunity to demonstrate the impressive capabilities of our ship. Our successful test launch was a reflection of all the hard work and training by our strike team,” said Chief Fire Controlman Joshua Furnish, Sterett’s leading enlisted Tomahawk expert.

In addition to the Tomahawk launch, Sterett was able to successfully complete several other important operational exercises while underway off the coast of Southern California. Sterett provided support to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 77 and Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 12 as they performed deck landing qualifications on Sterett’s flight deck. Sterett also completed her Naval Surface Fire Support qualification off the coast of San Clemente Island, scoring an impressive 94.7%. Sterett also completed valuable training exercises to improve the ship’s proficiency in damage control, nighttime replenishments-at-sea, and evasive maneuvering techniques.

“Sterett had a very productive week underway,” said Cmdr. Stewart Bateshansky, Sterett’s Commanding Officer. “I was very impressed with how the crew performed underway and I look forward to increasing our proficiency in all warfare areas during upcoming underway periods.”

USS Sterett is part of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9 and is homeported in San Diego, California. DESRON 9 also includes USS Shoup (DDG 86), USS Momsen (DDG 92), USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60), USS Ford (FFG 54), USS Ingraham (FFG 61), and USS Preble (DDG 88). Sterett returned from her second deployment to the 5th and 7th Fleet Areas of Responsibility (AORs) in July 2012.
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