Ships and aircraft sank the decommissioned former USS Fresno (LST 1182) yesterday, in waters 18,000 feet deep, 215 nautical miles northeast of Guam as part of the exercise Valiant Shield 2014.
The participating sinking exercise (SINKEX) units included the U.S. Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, each of whom were able to gain proficiency in tactics, targeting and live firing against a surface target at sea.
“This exercise provided an important opportunity for realistic at-sea training with live ordnance, in conditions that could not be duplicated otherwise,” said U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Russell Allen, the U.S. Pacific Fleet Valiant Shield exercise lead. “This particular event enhanced our collective combat readiness and allowed us to improve our interoperability by working together to achieve specific training objectives.”
“The SINKEX is conducted on the front end of Valiant Shield mostly so we can safely dispose of the hulk involved,” said Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery, commander, Battle Force 7th Fleet. “It allows us to test both systems and tactics, techniques and procedures we developed for the employment of those systems in a live-fire environment. It’s a mixture of Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps weapons systems from surface ship, fixed-wing, and rotary-based platforms.”
USS Fresno was the fourth ship in the Newport class of tank landing ships and was named for the city and county in California. The ship was assigned to the Amphibious Force, Pacific Fleet, and homeported in San Diego.