Fire Controlman Chief Petty Officer (Surface Warfare) Anthony A. Belbeck, United States Navy, of the USS Higgins (DDG 76) was selected as Missile Defender of the Month by the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA) for May 2011. As the Fire Control Division Leading Chief Petty Officer, FCC Belbeck leads 23 Sailors in the skillful operation and maintenance of the Aegis Weapon System on Higgins. He also plays a pivotal role as the Assistant Combat Systems Maintenance Manager.
Chief Belbeck’s stalwart leadership set the stage for USS Higgins’ Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) readiness throughout an extended deployment as the lead Aegis BMD ship in the Arabian Gulf for nearly 5 months. His expertise led to the successful upgrade and testing of Aegis BMD Baseline 126.96.36.199. Upon Higgins’ arrival in the Arabian Gulf, Chief Belbeck played the key role in the CENTCOM directed, joint-service Air and Missile Defense Exercise (AMDEX) 1-02 where he dedicated over 40 hours of satellite data link fidelity testing using simulated threat tracks to ensure the exercise’s smooth execution. Devoted to improving BMD readiness within the 5th Fleet area of responsibility, he also created numerous Aegis Combat Training System (ACTS) scenarios for multi-ship training events using Force Training Video (FTV).
FCC Belbeck’s dedication has been critical to Higgins’ success as a BMD platform throughout an extended eight month deployment and to the success of Aegis in the joint BMD environment.
USS Higgins is assigned to the Carl Vinson Strike Group, home ported in San Diego, California and has operated in the 7th and 5th Fleet areas of responsibility in support of maritime security since deploying in January of 2011.