The U.S. Navy is surging two ballistic missile defense warships to the 7th Fleet to cover for a pair of vessels damaged in recent collisions as they are repaired.
The Norfolk-based cruiser USS Monterey (CG-61) and Pearl Harbor-based destroyer USS O’Kane (DDG-77) will be deployed to assist in BMD missions, said a pair of Navy officials in an interview with the United States Naval Institute.
The redeployment of the two destroyers comes as tensions simmer between the U.S. and North Korea, and as Pyongyang continues to develop more sophisticated intercontinental and medium-range ballistic missiles.
The O’Kane was scheduled for an independent patrol to an unspecified location before it was tasked to U.S. 7th Fleet for BMD operations in the Western Pacific, officials said. Meanwhile, Monterey will conduct an independent BMD deployment in the U.S. 6th and 5th Fleet areas of operation in Europe and the Middle East to ease to overall BMD burden for the service.
Both deployments are expected to last about six months.
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