The amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) completed a live-fire exercise in which the ship fired missiles at a drone using the ship’s self-defense Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) system Saturday, according to Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Lyle Wilkie.
The amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) completed a live-fire exercise in which the ship fired missiles at a drone using the ship’s self-defense Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) system Saturday, Aug. 3.
The live-fire exercise is in preparation for the New York’s upcoming deployment with the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group. The Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51), also part of the amphibious ready group, conducted a live-fire exercise Saturday as well.
“We are doing this exercise to verify full operation of our kill chain for our RAM system,” said USS New York Fire Controlman Chief Christopher Campbell. “The weekly overall combat system operability tests and RAM’s daily system tests assess every part of the kill chain except the actual launch of the missile. This is our opportunity to ensure that the missile will launch prior to deployment.”
In order to prepare for an exercise of this magnitude it takes a great deal of preparation.
“Preparation for this exercise started a month or longer before we even loaded the missiles,” said Fire Controlman 2nd Class Austin Jones. “We had to ensure each missile cell received the proper signals to fire missiles and make sure the launcher was in overall good condition before receiving and firing missiles. All the fire controlmen have accomplished more than 150 man hours of maintenance in preparation for this shoot. The exercise was a way to show how effective training in the combat systems department has been and how prepared the New York is to use the RAM system on board.”
The fire controlman aboard was not the only one involved in this exercise.
“All combat watch standers, bridge watch teams and many other people were involved in this exercise,” said Jones. “Each person has a specific role from safeties to launching the missile to coordinating procedures in case of a dud, or misfire.”
This exercise is the last event for the Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training (SWATT) exercise where the New York, alongside the Oak Hill and flagship Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5), have been tested in many avenues of war fighting.
“This is a culminating event where watch standers and systems can be rigorously tested to prove their capability and effectiveness while also utilizing state of the art data extraction systems to continue our pursuit for perfection,” said Lt. j.g. Joshua Sexton, Fire Control Officer aboard New York. “This is proof of not only capability and effectiveness but also confidence in both the system and, most importantly, the watch standers’ ability to stay in the fight.”
Warships assigned to the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group, including New York, are participating in the SWATT, in the Atlantic Ocean, to maintain readiness, proficiency, and lethality.