USS Cape St. George (CG-71)

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USS Cape St. George (CG-71)
USS Cape St. George launches a Tomahawk missile.
USS Cape St. George (CG-71) launches a Tomahawk missile.
Career (USA)
Namesake: Battle of Cape St. George
Ordered: 25 February 1988
Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding
Laid down: 19 November 1990
Launched: 10 January 1992
Acquired: 13 April 1993
Commissioned: 13 June 1993
Homeport: San Diego California
Motto: Always Victorious
Status: in active service, as of 2014
Badge: USS Cape St. George CG-71 Crest.png
General characteristics
Class & type: Ticonderoga-class cruiser
Displacement: Approx. 9,600 long tons (9,800 t) full load
Length: 567 feet (173 m)
Beam: 55 feet (16.8 meters)
Draught: 34 feet (10.2 meters)
Propulsion:

4 × General Electric LM2500 gas turbine engines, 80,000 shaft horsepower (60,000 kW)
2 × controllable-reversible pitch propellers

2 × rudders
Speed: 32.5 knots (60 km/h)
Complement: 33 officers, 27 Chief Petty Officers, and approx. 340 enlisted
Sensors and
processing systems:
Armament:

2 × 61 cell Mk 41 vertical launch systems containing

8 × RGM-84 Harpoon missiles
2 × Mk 45 Mod 2 5-in/54-cal lightweight gun
2 × 25 mm Mk 38 gun
2–4 × .50 cal (12.7 mm) gun
2 × Phalanx CIWS Block 1B

2 × Mk 32 12.75-in (324 mm) triple torpedo tubes for lightweight torpedoes
Aircraft carried: 2 × Sikorsky SH-60B or MH-60R Seahawk LAMPS III helicopters.

USS Cape St. George (CG-71) is a Ticonderoga-class cruiser laid down by the Litton-Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation at Pascagoula, Mississippi on 19 November 1990, launched on 10 January 1992 and commissioned on 12 June 1993. Cape St. George operates out of San Diego, California, and administratively reports to Commander, Naval Surface Forces Pacific.

Cape St. George is named for the World War II Battle of Cape St. George near New Ireland in Papua New Guinea where a US Navy destroyer force led by Captain Arleigh Burke defeated a Japanese destroyer force on 25 November 1943.

In March 2003 she was a first responder in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, awaiting orders from the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Turkey. Cruiser-Destroyer Group Eight. The Helicopter Squadron attached to the Cape during this cruise was HSL-44 (out of Mayport Naval Station). During this deployment, the Cape St. George became one of the first US Navy ships to fire cruise cissiles from the Mediterranean at a target (Iraq). The Cape soon set sail for the Persian Gulf to continue missile support operations after the Government of Turkey claimed that a Cruise missile landed, intact, on Turkish soil. Needless to say, US warships were no longer allowed to fire missiles over Turkish airspace. The Cape St. George then became the first US Navy ship ever to fire from two theaters of battle in history during her five month cruise, the Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf. The photograph of the USS Cape St. George firing its first missile at Iraq (cover photo) from the Mediterranean Sea was taken by one of two sailors deployed in one of the Cape's two RHIB boats. (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat) Video footage was also taken and was seen shortly after on CNN. The photograph made papers nationwide soon after and is now the Cape's token photograph., [1]

In May 2005, Cape St. George became the first surface warship certified to use only digital nautical charts (DNC), instead of paper charts using the Voyage Management System (VMS). About 12,000 paper charts have been replaced by 29 computer discs. VMS is part of the Smart Ship Integrated Bridge System, which has been under development since 1990.

On 18 March 2006, she was involved in a firefight with suspected pirates, along with USS Gonzalez.[2] The two US warships exchanged fire with the suspected pirates about 25 nautical miles (46 km; 29 mi) off the coast of Somalia. Initial reports indicated that one suspected pirate was killed and five others wounded while Cape St. George took superficial damage from small arms fire during the action.

In March 2007, Seaman Richard Mott slashed the throat of Seaman Jose Garcia from behind as the 18-year-old ate breakfast on the berthing barge nested aside the ship while she was pierside at BAE Shipyards Norfolk, Virginia for repairs. Garcia was seriously injured but survived. On 7 November 2008, Mott was found guilty of attempted murder and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.[3]

In July 2007, Cape St. George departed Norfolk, VA in transit to her new homeport of San Diego, CA [4] to support the realignment of naval forces following the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review.[5]

On 17 October 2010, the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) and Cape St. George arrived off the coast of Pakistan to support the coalition troop surge in landlocked Afghanistan.[6]

On 31 January 2011, Cape St. George responded to a distress call from a sinking Iranian dhow by dispatching a rescue team via a rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB). The rescue team attempted to repair the dhow's dewatering pumps, but they were unable to stop the flooding. The Iranian fishermen were brought aboard Cape St. George where they were examined by the medical staff before being transferred to an Iranian customs vessel.[7]

6–10 January 2012, accompanying carrier Abraham Lincoln, Cape St. George visited the Gulf of Thailand port of Laem Chabang.[8] During the visit, Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA) provided husbanding services, for which the Navy was billed a total of $884,000. In November 2013, federal prosecutors charged that the Navy had been overbilled more than $500,000.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cruisers". World Navies Today: US Navy Aircraft Carriers & Surface Combatants. 10 March 2003. Retrieved May 2012. .
  2. ^ "U.S. Navy Ships Return Fire on Suspected Pirates". Navy News Service. 18 March 2006. NNS060318-01. 
  3. ^ Wiltrout, Kate (8 November 2008). "Navy Fails To Notify Reporters, Holds Trial Out Of Public View". The Virginian-Pilot. 
  4. ^ USS Cape St. George (CG 71)
  5. ^ "Quadrennial Defense Review Report". Department of Defense. 6 February 2006.
  6. ^ "Lincoln Arrives in 5th Fleet Ready to Support Afghanistan Surge". Navy News Service. 17 October 2010. NNS101017-07. 
  7. ^ "Cape St. George Assists Iranian Mariners". Navy News Service. 2 February 2011. NNS110202-04. 
  8. ^ "Aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln Concludes Thailand Port Visit". Events. Naval Today. 11 January 2012. "Aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), accompanied by guided-missile cruiser Cape St. George (CG 71), departed Laem Chabang, Thailand, Jan. 10, following a four-day port visit." 
  9. ^ Tony Perry (15 November 2013). "Navy cancels $200 million in contracts with firm in bribery scandal". Stars and Stripes. Los Angeles Times. "SAN DIEGO — The Navy has canceled more than $200 million in contracts with a Singapore-based company at the center of a spiraling scandal involving accusations of bribery and leaking of confidential information." 

This article includes information collected from the Naval Vessel Register, which, as a U.S. government publication, is in the public domain.

External links[edit]