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Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters the deployment should not be viewed as threatening or in response to events in any single country in that volatile region.
"This is an area that is important to us, the eastern Med," he said when asked about news reports of the ship movements. "It's a group of ships that will operate in the vicinity there for a while," adding that "it isn't meant to send any stronger signals than that. But it does signal that we're...
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
U.S. anti-missile ship arrives in Israel
TEL AVIV — The U.S. Navy has sent an Aegis missile defense ship to Israel.
The USS San Jacinto has arrived in the Israeli port of Haifa as part of U.S.-Israel naval cooperation. San Jacinto contains the Aegis missile defense system, designed to intercept medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles developed by Iran and North Korea.
San Jacinto, a Ticonderoga-class vessel, docked in Haifa on Feb. 4 and was scheduled to remain in the port for three days. Officials said Israel Navy officers would tour the Aegis cruiser and receive briefings on the missile defense system.
The USS San Jacinto (CG 56) is the tenth AEGIS cruiser of the 27 ships in the Ticonderoga Class. Her construction began on 5 October 1984 and her keel laid 24 July 1985. She was launched on 14 November 1986 and christened 24 January 1987 by her sponsor, Dr. Wendy Lee Gramm, wife of Senator Phil Gramm of Texas. San Jacinto was commissioned on 23 January 1988 by then Vice President George Bush in Houston, Texas.
In order to carry out its mission, San Jacinto is equipped with the most advanced naval weapons system in the world. AEGIS, a computerized, quick reaction, air defense system, provides extraordinary capabilities against attacking aircraft and missiles. The heart of the AEGIS system is the SPY-1A radar, which automatically detects and tracks virtually everything flying out to and beyond 200 miles.