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Yokosuko, Japan – February 24, 2015 — Yesterday, at an event sponsored by the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, the commanders and over 100 crewmembers of the USS Shiloh (CG-67) and JS Kirishima (DDG-174) Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) ships joined together to be recognized for their contributions to the defense of Japan and maintaining peace in northeast Asia.

The JS Kirishima (DDG-174) is one of four Aegis BMD ships in the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Forces (JMSDF), and with its crew has stood ready to defend Japan during nearly every major North Korean missile launch since its commissioning in 1995. It has also participated in a number joint U.S.-Japanese tests and exercises of the Aegis BMD system.

The USS Shiloh (CG-67) Guided Missile Cruiser has been with the U.S. Seventh Fleet, home-ported in Yokosuka Japan, since 2006. In addition to its leadership and coordination of Aegis BMD patrols in the Sea of Japan, it was the most modern Aegis Operating System that played integral roles in the defense of the U.S. homeland during North Korean testing of long range ballistic missiles and threats to Guam, Hawaii and the continental United States.

Speaking at the event were Vice Admiral Masao Kawamura, Commander of the JMSDF’s Fleet Escort Force; Rear Admiral John Alexander, Commander of U.S. Seventh Fleet Battle Force; Captain Kurush Morris, Commander of the USS Shiloh (CG-67); Captain Tasuhiro Sato, Commander of the JS Kirishima (DDG-174); and MDAA Chairman Riki Ellison.
In a moving moment during his remarks, VADM Kawamura noted the anniversary of the gathering – the raising of the American flag by U.S. Marines over Iwo Jima on February 23, 1945 and the significant transformation of the relationship to what it is today seventy years later.

During his remarks, MDAA Chairman Riki Ellison said “We honor and recognize both navies, ships, crews and mission for being the first line of defense to protect and defend their respective countries from the North Korean threat from the forward position in the Sea of Japan.”

For more information on MDAA’s U.S. 7th Fleet and Japanese Maritime Self Defense Forces Aegis BMD Recognition Event, or for press inquiries with MDAA Chairman Riki Ellison, please contact iwilliams@missiledefenseadvocacy.org or call 703-299-0060

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Mission Statement

MDAA’s mission is to make the world safer by advocating for the development and deployment of missile defense systems to defend the United States, its armed forces and its allies against missile threats.

MDAA is the only organization in existence whose primary mission is to educate the American public about missile defense issues and to recruit, organize, and mobilize proponents to advocate for the critical need of missile defense. We are a non-partisan membership-based and membership-funded organization that does not advocate on behalf of any specific system, technology, architecture or entity.