US Navy patrol ships test fire Griffin missiles in Persian Gulf

A griffin missile is launched from the coastal patrol ship USS Chinook (PC 9) during a test and proficiency fire, July 18. Photo: US Navy

Five Bahrain-based U.S. Navy coastal patrol ships carried out a proficiency fire test of their MK 60 Griffin Missile Systems (GMS) July 18-20 in the Persian Gulf.

Coastal patrol ships USS Tempest (PC 2), USS Squall (PC 7), USS Chinook (PC 9), USS Firebolt (PC 10) and USS Thunderbolt (PC 12) launched surface-to-surface Griffin missiles at moving target sleds to demonstrate their ability to hit surface targets, like small boats.

“Conducting this test and executing this realistic exercise generates greater proficiency for the crews and provides the perfect venue to put their training to use,” said Cmdr. Chris Gilbertson, deputy commodore of PCRON One. “When the time comes to act, they will have these experiences to provide the confidence to act and execute. Frequent, realistic training is necessary to keep these skills fresh to maintain combat readiness. Everyone this week made the most of this unique opportunity.”

At-sea tests of GMS began in 2012, but the GMS program was only declared operational following the first live-fire tests on PCRON One’s ships on March 25, 2014. Over the next several years, the program was implemented on each of PCRON One’s 10 ships. The addition of the GMS to the coastal patrol ship’s arsenal provides even more options for crews when faced with any number of threats in the 5th Fleet area of operations.

The participating ships are five of the 10 PCs forward deployed to Manama, Bahrain assigned to Task Force 55, which is responsible for all surface forces in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, to include U.S. Navy coastal patrol ships and U.S. Coast Guard cutters.

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