USS Mobile Bay
USS Mobile Bay
|United States of America|
|Name:||USS Mobile Bay|
|Namesake:||Battle of Mobile Bay|
|Operator:||United States Navy|
|Ordered:||15 January 1982|
|Laid down:||6 June 1984|
|Launched:||22 August 1985|
|Commissioned:||21 February 1987|
|Homeport:||Naval Base San Diego|
|Motto:||Full Speed Ahead|
|Status:||in active service|
|Class and 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)|
|Draft:||34 feet (10.2 meters)|
|Speed:||32.5 knots (60 km/h; 37.4 mph)|
|Complement:||33 officers, 27 Chief Petty Officers, and approx. 340 enlisted|
|Aircraft carried:||2 × Sikorsky SH-60B or MH-60R Seahawk LAMPS III helicopters.|
Design and construction
The ship was ordered from Ingalls Shipbuilding on 15 January 1982. She was laid down on 6 June 1984, launched on 22 August 1985, and commissioned on 21 February 1987.
With guided missiles and rapid-fire cannons, Mobile Bay is capable of defeating threats in the air, on the sea, on shore, and undersea. She carries the Tomahawk Land Attack Missile which played an integral part in the strikes on Iraqi targets during the opening stages of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. She also carries two Seahawk LAMPS multi-purpose helicopters, mainly for anti-submarine warfare (ASW). The ship is capable of conducting Maritime Interdiction Operations, and carries a fully trained boarding team.
After commissioning, Mobile Bay joined the U.S. Atlantic Fleet, arriving at her Mayport, Florida, homeport in March 1987. Following a year of crew qualifications, tests and systems trials, Mobile Bay embarked on her maiden deployment on 11 May 1989. During this cruise, Mobile Bay earned her first two awards: the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and the Armed Services Expeditionary Medal, for operations conducted in the Gulf of Oman.
In June 1990, Mobile Bay shifted homeports from Mayport, Florida to Yokosuka, Japan. Shortly thereafter, she deployed in August 1990 in support of Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, becoming the first AEGIS cruiser to circumnavigate the globe. In the Persian Gulf, the ship distinguished herself by becoming the first Battle Force Anti-Air Warfare Commander to control a four-carrier Task Force. Mobile Bay launched 22 Tomahawk land-attack cruise missile strikes, and performed as the Battle Force Anti-Surface Warfare Commander targeting Iraqi naval vessels and directing carrier-launched attack aircraft to destroy 38 Iraqi naval vessels resulting in the complete neutralization of the Iraqi Navy.
In February 1991, the Tactical Information Coordinator (TIC) aboard Mobile Bay, reported SPY-1 Radar acquisitions of what appeared to be SCUD missile launches that were detected over Saudi Arabia. These tracks were reported over Data Systems Administration (DSA) and Anti-Air Warfare Coordination and Reporting (AAWC&R) voice networks and were confirmed to be valid targets by Patriot Batteries who engaged these SCUDs.
In May 1991, Mobile Bay was ordered to Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines, to participate in Operation Fiery Vigil, the evacuation of thousands of people displaced by the volcanic eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. In December 1991, Mobile Bay began work-ups for a spring 1992 Persian Gulf deployment.
On 15 April 1992, Mobile Bay once again set sail for the Persian Gulf. En route, the ship and crew visited Sydney, Australia, to represent the U. S. Navy at the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Battle of Coral Sea. Sailing through the Straits of Hormuz in late May 1992, the ship began duties as the Persian Gulf Anti-Air Warfare Commander. Mobile Bay also played a vital role in Operation Southern Watch, the enforcement of the U. N.-mandated "No Fly Zone" over Southern Iraq. Returning to Japan in October, Mobile Bay participated in ANNUALEX-92, a major naval exercise involving units of the U. S. Navy and the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force. Mobile Bay served as the Anti-Air Warfare Commander for a joint U. S. - Japanese flotilla.
Mobile Bay was deployed to East Timor as part of the Australian-led INTERFET peacekeeping taskforce from 20 September to 5 October 1999. As the most capable air defense vessel available, the ship was placed in charge of air defence, although the U.S. requests for screening Mobile Bay necessitated a considerable degree of effort by other ships of the force.
In 2006, the cruiser was deployed to the Western Pacific, where she served as the Air Defense Commander for the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group.
On 8 April 2011, the ship was given a failing grade of "unsatisfactory" in her INSURV inspection, mainly for problems with the ship's propulsion, operations, aviation, and communications. A remedial inspection was scheduled and passed in June 2011.
The ship recently returned from back to back deployments (2011 and 2012) as the Air Defense Commander for John C Stennis Strike Group. She was awarded the 2012 Battle E and Spokane Award for her service.
- Chief of Naval Operations Summary Report, Ser OO/lU500179, 15 May 1991, THE UNITED STATES NAVY IN "DESERT SHIELD" / "DESERT STORM," Chapter V, "THUNDER AND LIGHTNING"- THE WAR WITH IRAQ; “An AEGIS History,” Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC, May 1986. Author: Troy S. Kimmel. Naval Engineers Journal, 2009, Vol. 121 No. 3 “The Story of AEGIS.” P. 34; "Fielding a Theater Ballistic Missile Defense," John E. Carey, Proceedings, June 1993, p. 56; "Theater Missile Defense: Beyond Patriot," Master's Thesis of Joseph P. Peterson, Naval Postgraduate School, June 1994; dcmilitary.com, from Friday October 11, 2013 in the South Potomac Pilot; Personnel Performance Evaluation of OS2 Patrick A. Payne, FTC/TIC, USS Mobile Bay, dated 1 May 1991.
- GlobalSecurity.org website
- Stevens, Strength Through Diversity, p. 14
- Stevens, Strength Through Diversity, p. 21
- http://www.hazegray.org/worldnav/usa/suface.htm, accessed May 2012
- Fellman, Sam, "Details emerge on cruiser’s INSURV failure", Military Times, 9 May 2011.
- Fellman, Sam, "West Coast cruiser fails INSURV", Military Times, 18 April 2011.
- Stevens, David (2007). Strength Through Diversity: The combined naval role in Operation Stabilise (PDF). Working Papers. 20. Canberra: Sea Power Centre - Australia. ISBN 978-0-642-29676-4. ISSN 1834-7231. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
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