USS Russell Hosts US State Department Official

The officers and crew of the guided missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG 59) provided a ship’s tour and brief on the Navy’s important role in ballistic missile defense (BMD) to a high ranking U.S. State Department official, April 17.

Dr. Amanda Sloat, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, visited the ship to better understand the role and capabilities of Russell’s powerful BMD system.

Sloat is responsible for issues related to Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus, as well as for coordinating with Europeans on our engagement with the countries of the Middle East and North Africa. Russell was the second U.S. Navy ship ever visited by Sloat, and the first destroyer.

Sloat’s visit coincided with Russell’s final re-certification as an official U.S. Navy BMD ship, enabling her to view Russell’s entire Combat Information Center (CIC) watch team in action. She observed Russell’s crew successfully engage several ballistic missiles, simulating defending our allies and neutralizing the threats of rogue states.

After observing the ballistic missile defense simulation, Sloat proceeded on a tour of the ship led by Cmdr. Gill McCarthy, Russell’s executive officer.

The tour included the bridge, decoy launch system deck, foc’sle, and aft missile deck, enabling Sloat to gain a better understanding of the navigation of the ship as well as the employment of Russell’s formidable offensive and defense capabilities, including the surface to air missile, Tomahawk cruise missile, vertical launch anti-submarine rocket, MK45 five-inch gun, Phalanx close-in weapons system and various missile decoys.

Russell is assigned as part of Destroyer Squadron One. The ship and crew are currently in the basic training phase in preparation for a deployment later this year.

Image: US Navy

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