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USS Bonhomme Richard test-fires Sea Sparrow missile

Firing of NATO missile marks the first time the ship has fired its alliance system in five years.

By Geoff Ziezulewicz
USS Bonhomme Richard test-fires Sea Sparrow missile
The USS Bonhomme Richard successfully engaged a target drone with a NATO Sea Sparrow missile during the Valiant Shield 2016 exercise on Sunday. U.S. Navy photo

WASHINGTON, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- The USS Bonhomme Richard successfully engaged a target drone with a NATO Sea Sparrow missile during the Valiant Shield 2016 exercise on Sunday.

The firing of the surface-to-air missile off the coast of Guam was the first time the amphibious assault ship had fired its NATO system in five years, the sea service said in a statement.

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The firing was conducted to test the ship's self-defense capabilities, as well as the watchstanders' abiliy to respond to an anti-ship cruise missile threat.

Bonhomme Richard, the flagship of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group, is currently participating in the Valiant Shield exercise.

Valiant Shield is a biennial, field training effort that focus on integration and joint training among U.S. forces.

It involves detecting, locating, tracking and engaging units at sea, air, land and in cyber space in a range of mission areas.

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