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Historic first: US Navy celebrates live ordnance reload of warship in Eden, NSW

Sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) guide an SM-2 missile container into a vertical launching system (VLS) tube during an SM-2 missile reload, Aug. 22. Photo: US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Colby A. Mothershead.

US Navy guided missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta has conducted the first-ever live ordnance reload for a US warship in Eden on the NSW coast of Australia.

US Navy guided missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta has conducted the first-ever live ordnance reload for a US warship in Eden on the NSW coast of Australia.

The Arleigh Burke Class (DDG 115) destroyer rearmed its vertical launch system with Standard Missile-2 ammunition on 22 August following operations during Exercise Talisman Sabre in July and in support of Exercise Malabar 2023.

USS Rafael Peralta is assigned to the US Navy’s largest forward-deployed Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron 5 and the US 7th Fleet’s principal surface force.

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Commander Charles Cooper, USS Rafael Peralta commanding officer, said Navy logistics specialists coordinated with Australian allies for the dynamic transportation of ordnance to Eden to coincide with Rafael Peralta’s arrival.

“There is tremendous value in expanding the range of locations throughout the Indo-Pacific where US Navy ships can rearm missiles while deployed,” he said.

“Increasing our options for reload sites provides increased flexibility across our mission sets and operating areas.

“Working closely with our Australian allies, we were able to successfully demonstrate this capability at Eden.”

The US 7th Fleet is currently engaged with interacting and operating with allies and partners to preserve a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

“We’ve worked hand-in-hand with the Australians through multiple exercises and engagements over the past month,” he said.

“It is inspiring to see how our teams have improved interoperability and operated as a unified force.

“Completing this rearm, we added another layer to that already strong cooperation.

“This gives us new operational agility, benefiting both nations and our ongoing work to support a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

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