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Destroyer USS Rafael Peralta completes first live missile on-load in Eden, Australia

07 September 2023

From Petty Officer 2nd Class Colby Mothershead

EDEN, Australia - The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) completed the first-ever live ordnance reload for a U.S. warship in Eden, Australia, when it rearmed its Vertical Launch System (VLS) there, Aug. 22.


PORT EDEN (Aug. 22, 2023) Sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) guide an SM-2 missile container into a vertical launching system (VLS) tube during an SM-2 missile reload, Aug. 22. Rafael Peralta is assigned to Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Colby A. Mothershead)
PORT EDEN (Aug. 22, 2023) Sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) guide an SM-2 missile container into a vertical launching system (VLS) tube during an SM-2 missile reload, Aug. 22. Rafael Peralta is assigned to Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Colby A. Mothershead)
PORT EDEN (Aug. 22, 2023) Sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) guide an SM-2 missile container into a vertical launching system (VLS) tube during an SM-2 missile reload, Aug. 22. Rafael Peralta is assigned to Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Colby A. Mothershead)
230822-N-JO829-1070
PORT EDEN (Aug. 22, 2023) Sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) guide an SM-2 missile container into a vertical launching system (VLS) tube during an SM-2 missile reload, Aug. 22. Rafael Peralta is assigned to Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Colby A. Mothershead)
Photo By: MC2 Colby A. Mothershead
VIRIN: 230822-N-JO829-1070


The re-arm took place following exercise Talisman Sabre 23, where Rafael Peralta conducted a live-fire exercise with the Standard Missile (SM) 2.

“There is tremendous value in expanding the range of locations throughout the Indo-Pacific where U.S. Navy ships can rearm missiles while deployed,” said Cmdr. Charles Cooper, commanding officer of USS Rafael Peralta. “Increasing our options for reload sites provides increased flexibility across our mission sets and operating areas. Working closely with our Australian allies, we were able to successfully demonstrate this capability at Eden.”

PORT EDEN (Aug. 22, 2023) Australian contractors, Australian Sailors and Sailors assigned to Navy Munitions Command Pacific East Asia Division Unit Guam (NMCPAC EAD UNIT GUAM) inspect and prep an SM-2 missile to be loaded aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115), Aug. 22. Rafael Peralta is assigned to Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Colby A. Mothershead)
PORT EDEN (Aug. 22, 2023) Australian contractors, Australian Sailors and Sailors assigned to Navy Munitions Command Pacific East Asia Division Unit Guam (NMCPAC EAD UNIT GUAM) inspect and prep an SM-2 missile to be loaded aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115), Aug. 22. Rafael Peralta is assigned to Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Colby A. Mothershead)
PORT EDEN (Aug. 22, 2023) Australian contractors, Australian Sailors and Sailors assigned to Navy Munitions Command Pacific East Asia Division Unit Guam (NMCPAC EAD UNIT GUAM) inspect and prep an SM-2 missile to be loaded aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115), Aug. 22. Rafael Peralta is assigned to Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Colby A. Mothershead)
230822-N-JO829-1024
PORT EDEN (Aug. 22, 2023) Australian contractors, Australian Sailors and Sailors assigned to Navy Munitions Command Pacific East Asia Division Unit Guam (NMCPAC EAD UNIT GUAM) inspect and prep an SM-2 missile to be loaded aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115), Aug. 22. Rafael Peralta is assigned to Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Colby A. Mothershead)
Photo By: MC2 Colby A. Mothershead
VIRIN: 230822-N-JO829-1024


Rafael Peralta had been operating in the vicinity of Australia for several weeks, participating in exercise Talisman Sabre 23 starting in late July, continuing through a scheduled port visit to Sydney and then operating in support of exercise Malabar 2023, ending on Aug. 21.

U.S. Navy logistics specialists coordinated with Australian allies for the dynamic transportation of ordnance to Eden to coincide with Rafael Peralta’s arrival.

PORT EDEN (Aug. 22, 2023) Sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) guide a used SM-2 missile cartridge out of a vertical launching system (VLS) tube during an SM-2 missile reload, Aug. 22. Rafael Peralta is assigned to Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Colby A. Mothershead)
PORT EDEN (Aug. 22, 2023) Sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) guide a used SM-2 missile cartridge out of a vertical launching system (VLS) tube during an SM-2 missile reload, Aug. 22. Rafael Peralta is assigned to Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Colby A. Mothershead)
PORT EDEN (Aug. 22, 2023) Sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) guide a used SM-2 missile cartridge out of a vertical launching system (VLS) tube during an SM-2 missile reload, Aug. 22. Rafael Peralta is assigned to Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Colby A. Mothershead)
230822-N-JO829-1044
PORT EDEN (Aug. 22, 2023) Sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) guide a used SM-2 missile cartridge out of a vertical launching system (VLS) tube during an SM-2 missile reload, Aug. 22. Rafael Peralta is assigned to Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Colby A. Mothershead)
Photo By: MC2 Colby A. Mothershead
VIRIN: 230822-N-JO829-1044


“We’ve worked hand-in-hand with the Australians through multiple exercises and engagements over the past month. It is inspiring to see how our teams have improved interoperability and operated as a unified force,” Cooper said. “Completing this rearm, we added another layer to that already strong cooperation. This gives us new operational agility, benefiting both nations and our ongoing work to support a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

PORT EDEN (Aug. 22, 2023) Sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) prepare to remove a used SM-2 missile cartridge out of a vertical launching system (VLS) tube during an SM-2 missile reload, Aug. 22. Rafael Peralta is assigned to Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Colby A. Mothershead)
PORT EDEN (Aug. 22, 2023) Sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) prepare to remove a used SM-2 missile cartridge out of a vertical launching system (VLS) tube during an SM-2 missile reload, Aug. 22. Rafael Peralta is assigned to Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Colby A. Mothershead)
PORT EDEN (Aug. 22, 2023) Sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) prepare to remove a used SM-2 missile cartridge out of a vertical launching system (VLS) tube during an SM-2 missile reload, Aug. 22. Rafael Peralta is assigned to Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Colby A. Mothershead)
230822-N-JO829-1040
PORT EDEN (Aug. 22, 2023) Sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) prepare to remove a used SM-2 missile cartridge out of a vertical launching system (VLS) tube during an SM-2 missile reload, Aug. 22. Rafael Peralta is assigned to Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Colby A. Mothershead)
Photo By: MC2 Colby A. Mothershead
VIRIN: 230822-N-JO829-1040


Rafael Peralta assigned to Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force.

U.S. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy's largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

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