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1209012-N-TX154-175 | by U.S. Pacific Fleet
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PACIFIC OCEAN (Sept. 12, 2012) The forward deployed guided-missile cruiser USS Cowpens (CG 63) launches a Harpoon Missile from the aft missile deck. Cowpens is participating in a live fire exercise as part of Valiant Shield 2012. The live fire event sank the ex-USS Coronado (AGF-11) providing the Cowpens crew with the opportunity to gain proficiency in tactics, targeting and live firing against a surface target, enhancing combat readiness of deployed units. Strict environmental compliance is observed during all SINKEXs. Each SINKEX is required to sink the hulk in at least 1,000 fathoms (6,000 feet) and at least 50 nautical miles from land. Surveys are conducted to ensure that humans and marine mammals are not in an area where they could be harmed during the event. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Paul Kelly/Released)

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Taken on September 12, 2012