USS Milius
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USS Milius Wraps up Task Group Exercise, Heads West on Deployment

Following participation in a 10-day Task Group Exercise (TGEX) off the coast of Southern California, the guided missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG 69) headed west Oct. 31 to begin an independent deployment to the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans.

USS Milius Wraps up Task Group Exercise, Heads West on Deployment

Officers and crew members of Milius had said their goodbyes to friends and family Oct. 20 as the ship left its homeport of Naval Base San Diego prior to beginning the exercise.

In addition to Milius, the TGEX, led by U.S. 3rd Fleet, included the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), guided-missile cruisers USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) and USS Chosin (CG 65), guided-missile destroyers USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60), USS Kidd (DDG 100), USS Pinckney (DDG 91) and USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110), and the littoral combat ships USS Independence (LCS 2) and USS Fort Worth (LCS 3).

Also participating in the exercise were the Royal Canadian Navy Halifax-class frigates HMCS Calgary (FFH 335) and HMCS Winnipeg (FFH 338), Kingston-class coastal defense vessels HMCS Brandon (MM 710) and HMCS Yellowknife (MM 706), and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JS) Teruzuki (DD 116)

The exercise served to train the vessels in air defense, surface warfare, and anti-submarine operations, as well as facilitate cooperation within a multi-national strike group.


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As a multi-mission Aegis destroyer, Milius has the capacity to execute a broad spectrum of missions including anti-air, anti-submarine, and anti-surface warfare while also maintaining the flexibility to operate independently or with a strike group.

“The crew has worked very hard over the past few months in preparation for this deployment,” said Cmdr. Michael J. Rak, Milius’ commanding officer. “Our training level has reached a high level of proficiency and I am confident that the Milius team possesses the skills and expertise needed to operate efficiently and effectively. They are true Destroyermen and we are ready to go where the nation needs us.”

USS Milius’ namesake is from Navy pilot Capt. Paul L. Milius. On Feb. 27, 1968, Milius was conducting a reconnaissance mission over Laos when his OP-2E aircraft was struck by anti-air artillery fire. Although the aircraft was severely damaged, Milius opted to stay inside the aircraft and stabilize the flight, allowing his seven crew members to bail out.

As a result of Milius’ courage, all seven were rescued. It is believed that Milius exited the aircraft before it crashed, but he was declared “Missing in Action” after rescuers failed to locate him. Milius’ status changed to “Presumed Killed in Action” in 1978. Capt. Paul L. Milius was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously. Surface Warfare Magazine

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