June 4 (UPI) -- The guided-missile destroyer USS Ross demonstrated its air defense capability with a live-fire exercises in which it fired a missile at a target skimming the sea, the Navy said on Friday.
The ship used a SM-2 missile to down its target on Tuesday during a Live Fire With a Purpose exercise neat Scotland's Outer Hebrides islands as it participated in NATO's At-Sea Demo/Formidable Shield 2021 drills occurring across Europe in May and June.
Ten nations, with 16 vessels, 10 aircraft and about 3,300 personnel, are participating.
"Launching the SM-2 was a privilege for the ship and sailors on board," Cmdr. John D. John, commanding officer of the USS Ross, said of Tuesday's success.
"This can be a once-in-a-career experience for many sailors and I'm proud of our team for completing the launch flawlessly and proving Ross is a ready fighting force in the region," John said.
The three-week exercise is designed to promote military interoperability between NATO countries.
"It was a good feeling knowing that our equipment worked as intended," said Fire Controlman 3rd Class Jeremiah Valentine, who launched the missile from the USS Ross. "This was something I will never forget."
Other exercises during Formidable Shield 2021 have included the launch of Harpoon missiles at a target from a P-8A Poseidon surveillance plane, and the downing of a missile traveling at over 5,000 mph by the French ship FS Forbin, using an Aster 30 combat missile.