U.S. joint armed forces conducted a multi-platform live-fire missile exercise, Sept. 19, involving surface, air, and subsurface launched ordinance to sink the decommissioned frigate USS Curts (FFG 38) as part of exercise Valiant Shield 2020, the U.S. Navy announced.
The sinking exercise (SINKEX) combined an orchestrated sequence of live ordnance targeting the ex-USS Curts, including air-launched ordnance from fixed and rotary wing squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, embarked aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), surface-launched missiles from cruisers USS Antietam (CG 54) and Shiloh (CG 67), a subsurface launched missile from Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Chicago (SSN 721), as well as various supporting Navy and U.S. Air Force aircraft.
Air Force assets included tanker support from KC-135s and KC-10s of the 909th Air Refueling Squadron and 9th ARS, respectively.
Valiant Shield is a U.S. only, biennial field training exercise (FTX) with a focus on the integration of joint training in a blue-water environment among U.S. forces. This training enables real-world proficiency in sustaining joint forces through detecting, locating, tracking and engaging units at sea, in the air, on land, and in cyberspace in response to a range of mission areas.
This is the eighth exercise in the Valiant Shield series that began in 2006. Participants include USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Carrier Strike Group with embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, USS Chicago (SSN 721), USS America (LHA 6), USS New Orleans (LPD 18), USS Comstock (LSD 45) and multiple surface ships — approximately 100 aircraft and an estimated 11,000 personnel from the U.S. Navy, Air Force, Army, and Marine Corps. Valiant Shield focuses on the integration of training in a blue-water environment to enable real-world proficiency in sustaining joint forces through detecting, locating, tracking, and engaging units at sea, in the air, on land, and cyberspace in response to a range of mission areas.
USS Curts (FFG-38) was the twenty-ninth ship of the Oliver Hazard Perry-class of guided-missile frigates. She was named for Admiral Maurice Curts (1898–1976). Curts is the first ship of that name in the US Navy.
Ordered from Todd Pacific Shipyards, Los Angeles Division, San Pedro, California on 27 April 1979 as part of the FY79 program, Curts was laid down on 1 July 1981, launched on 6 March 1982, and commissioned on 8 October 1983. She was decommissioned on 25 January 2013.