NORFOLK (NNS) -- Guided-missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52) hosted a ceremony Aug. 5, commemorating the March 19 combat launch of the 2,000th Tomahawk Land-Attack Missile (TLAM).
The ceremony highlighted the combat prowess of Barry, USS Stout (DDG 55), three U.S. Navy submarines and one Royal navy submarine that launched Tomahawk missiles during Operation Odyssey Dawn. Crew members from Barry and Stout were presented with framed extracts from their log books denoting the first missile each ship launched during the operation.
The crews of both Barry and Stout were also presented with Tomahawk program coins and the Tomahawker award which is an honorary award normally given to people when they leave the Tomahawk program.
"This ceremony recognizes not only the accuracy and effectiveness of this weapon within the United States' arsenal, but also the Sailors who have employed this weapon," said Cmdr. Kevin Byrne, USS Barry commanding officer. "Although a select few pushed the buttons to launch these weapons on March 19, the entire crew was instrumental in the successful launch of the Tomahawks."
Rear Adm. Paul Grosklags, vice commander, Naval Air Systems Command, said reaching such a momentous milestone is an accomplishment that the tomahawk government and industry team, the crew of Barry, and the whole Navy can be proud of.
"I am honored to be a part of the ceremony marking the 2,000th combat launch for the Tomahawk cruise missile; for this is indeed a great day for our Navy," said Grosklags. "Reaching 2,000 combat expenditures is a significant Navy force projection milestone. This shot was one of more than 200 successful Tomahawk missions conducted during the Libyan operation off of five U.S Naval platforms."
Operation Odyssey Dawn saw several firsts for the TLAM program to include; the first tactical employment from an Ohio Class guided-missile submarine, USS Florida (SSGN 728), the most TLAMs ever deployed during a single operation in 6th Fleet's area of responsibility, and the 2,000th combat launch of the TLAM.
"The TLAM is designed to fly at extremely low altitudes at high subsonic speeds and are guided by several mission-tailored navigation modes, including GPS, for land attack warfare, launches from U.S. Navy surface ships and submarines. The variations have kept the Tomahawk cruise missile the predominate long range, subsonic cruise missile of choice for U.S. military," said Capt. Joe Mauser, program manager, Tomahawk Weapons Systems Programs.
The missile is capable of being launched from more than 140 U.S. Navy ships and submarines, including the Ohio Class cruise missile submarine (SSGN). Precise and efficient, Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles have been used in every major U.S. combat operation since Operation Desert Storm in 1991, solidifying the weapons lethality against enemy targets in operations such as Operation Southern Watch (1992), Operation Enduring Freedom (2001), Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003) and Operation Odyssey Dawn.
Grosklags said the success of the Tomahawk missile has been in large part to the dedication and professionalism of those who maintain the culture of quality necessary to wield America's premier weapon.
"All of you here do our Nation's work, and you do it well," said Grosklags. "You support a noble mission, and you should be proud of your efforts. Continue to set high standards. Continue to draw on lessons learned. Continue to demand quality. Continue to be good stewards of this force that guarantees peace and freedom. May God bless our Fleet, our Navy, and our Nation.
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