PACIFIC OCEAN - Guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur (DDG 73) successfully participated in Flight Test Operational 01 (FTO-01) in the vicinity of the U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll/Reagan Test Site and surrounding areas in the Western Pacific Sept. 10.
FTO-01 is a Missile Defense Agency (MDA) / Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) Operational Test Agency event designed to track, engage and destroy two Medium Range Ballistic Missiles fired simultaneously.
"I'm extremely proud of the Decatur's crew, who worked hard for months in preparation for this challenging and complex event," said Cmdr. Joel Ellingson, Decatur's commanding officer. "All of us on Decatur are grateful for the opportunity to participate in such an important operational test of our country's Ballistic Missile Defense System."
Decatur's AN/SPY-1 radar detected and tracked the first target and then the ship's Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense weapon system developed a fire control solution, launched a missile and successfully intercepted the target.
This exercise is an example of the effectiveness of joint interagency training as multiple components of the U.S. military contributed, such as Missile Defense Agency (MDA), Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) Operational Test Agency, Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense, and U.S. Pacific Command, in conjunction with U.S. Army soldiers from the Alpha Battery, 2nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment and U.S. Air Force airmen from the 613th Air and Operations Center.
"I am extremely proud of the entire crew aboard Decatur, this was truly a team event where everyone contributed," said Missile Defense Agency Project Officer, Jim Jones. "Every Sailor, from the engineers who maintained the propulsion system of the ship to the quartermasters who navigate the ship, had a part to play in the successful execution of this mission."
Decatur returned Sept. 17 to San Diego following a two-month underway period to the Western Pacific.
The success of the missile exercise showcased the accuracy and reliability of the Navy's ballistic missile defense capability, while marking the Missile Defense Agency's first successful joint service test shot using both Navy and Army elements.