ANTWERP, Belgium -- USS Monterey (CG 61) arrived in Antwerp, Belgium, Mar. 27, as part of a scheduled port visit.
While in port the crew will give NATO members an opportunity to tour the ship and view its ballistic missile defense capabilities.
“We are the first ship to become a part of the European Phased Adaptive Approach of the missile defense mission,” said Capt. James W. Kilby, commanding officer of Monterey. “We are here in Belgium to coincide with a NATO convention and they are going to come and visit the ship to tour our missile defense capability.”
The visit is part of a six-month deployment to visit with NATO countries to show the Monterey’s capabilities and host local officials.
“On this deployment we are being true ambassadors,” said Master Chief Keith Mahaffey, command master chief of Monterey.
Modern U.S. Navy guided-missile cruisers perform primarily in a battle force role. The ships are capable of multi-mission support in carrier battle groups, amphibious forces, as flagships of surface action groups or operating independently. Cruisers are equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles that give them additional long range strike warfare capability. Some, like Monterey, have been outfitted with a ballistic missile defense capability.
Monterey, a Ticonderoga class guided-missile cruiserhomeported out of Norfolk, Va., is on a scheduled six-month deployment in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.