The guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54) fires a standard missile (SM-2) on the forecastle during a missile exercise for Multisail. USS Antietam (CG-54) is a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser of the United States Navy. Antietam was named for the site of the 1862 Battle of Antietam, Maryland, between Confederate forces under General Robert E. Lee and Union forces under Major General George McClellan, during the American Civil War. She was built by the Litton-Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation at Pascagoula, Mississippi and commissioned on 6 June 1987. USS Antietam earned the 2007 and 2008 Battle Efficiency awards, also known as the Battle E award, for the USS John C. Stennis Strike Group.
The SM-2 is the world’s premier fleet-area air defense weapon, providing superior anti-air warfare and limited anti-surface warfare capability against today’s advanced anti-ship missiles and aircraft out to 90 nautical miles and an altitude of 65,000 feet. The SM-2™ missile is an integral part of layered defense that protects the world’s important naval assets and gives warfighters a greater reach in the battlespace. Both SM-2 missile variants have successfully intercepted targets and are lethal against subsonic, supersonic, low- and high- altitude, high-maneuvering, diving, sea-skimming, anti-ship cruise missiles fighters, bombers and helicopters in an advanced electronic countermeasures environment. The SM-2 missile has extensive area- and self-defense flight test history with more than 2,700 successful flight tests from domestic and international ships.
MultiSail is an annual bilateral training exercise that improves interoperability between U.S. and Japanese forces. In 2018 the focus of the exercise will be on improving fundamental skills such as tracking and defeating submarines, combating other surface forces, live fire training, and interoperability with U.S. and JMSDF units. Participants include USS Antietam (CG 54), USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54), USS Benfold (DDG 65), USS Mustin (DDG 89), JS Fuyuzuki (DD-118), and a number of subsurface and other special units.
The lessons learned from exercises like MultiSail 2018 will assist the U.S. Navy and JMSDF to develop regional capabilities that provide a full range of options in defense of their interests and those of their allies and partners around the world. MultiSail uses realistic, shared training scenarios to enhance the ability of the U.S, Navy and JMSDF to work together to confront any contingency. MultiSail prepares forces that will provide the deterrence and stabilizing effects of a force-in-being, ready at the outset of a contingency without delays for buildups or extensive mission rehearsal.