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USS Benfold Deploys in Support of BMD

From Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65) is nearing preparations for her upcoming deployment to the western Pacific and Middle East.

Benfold is expected to depart Naval Station San Diego Sept. 8.

During the deployment, Benfold and her crew of about 18 officers and 250 enlisted Sailors will operate independently from any carrier strike group, and will directly support the U.S. Central and Pacific commands as a ballistic missile defense (BMD) asset.

Commanded by Cmdr. Thomas C. Disy, Benfold is one of 18 U.S. ships - three cruisers and 15 destroyers - fitted with the full Aegis BMD capability in the Navy, allowing them to detect, track and engage enemy ballistic missiles.

Maritime ballistic missile defense, a core capability of the Navy, will enhance deterrence by providing an umbrella of protection to forward-deployed forces and friends and allies, while contributing to the larger architecture planned for defense of the United States.

As one of 20 destroyers that belong to U.S. 3rd Fleet, Benfold helps provide deterrence, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the sea and humanitarian/disaster response within 3rd Fleet's 50 million square mile area of responsibility in the western Pacific as well as supporting the Navy's Maritime Strategy when forward deployed.

Story Number: NNS090904-21 Release Date: 9/4/2009 2:56:00 PM

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