USS Normandy (CG-60)
|Name:||USS Normandy (CG-60)|
|Namesake:||Battle of Normandy|
|Ordered:||26 November 1984|
|Builder:||Bath Iron Works|
|Laid down:||7 April 1987|
|Launched:||19 March 1988|
|Commissioned:||9 December 1989|
|Motto:||Vanguard of Victory|
|Status:||in active service|
|Class and type:||Ticonderoga class guided missile 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.|
USS Normandy (CG-60) is a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser in the service of the United States Navy. Armed with naval guns and anti-air, anti-surface, and anti-submarine missiles, plus other weapons, she is equipped for surface-to-air, surface-to-surface, and anti-submarine warfare. The cruiser was the first US warship since 1945 to go to war on her maiden cruise and in 1998 she was awarded the title "Most Tomahawks shot by a U.S. Navy Cruiser". She is named for the World War II Battle of Normandy, France, on and following D-Day.
Just one year after her commissioning in Newport, Rhode Island, Normandy sailed into action in order to support the multinational effort to free Kuwait. Normandy and her crew left on 28 December 1990 to join United Nations forces conducting Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. As part of the USS America Battle Group, Normandy transited the Suez Canal and the Red Sea on her way to the Persian Gulf. Normandy fired 26 Tomahawk cruise missiles, protected allied ships and aircraft in the area, conducted maritime interdiction operations, and helped to locate and destroy enemy mines. She was the first US warship since 1945 to go to war on her maiden cruise.
On 11 August 1993, USS Normandy and the USS America Battle Group deployed to the Adriatic Sea in support of United Nations efforts with the war-torn Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Normandy's primary duty was Adriatic air-space controller for Operations Provide Promise, Deny Flight, and Sharp Guard.
50th Anniversary of "D" day
In an historic first, Normandy embarked nine World War II veterans on 18 May 1994 for commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Allied landings on the coast of France. These activities took place in Portsmouth, England, until 31 May, ending in Le Havre, France. Over 15,000 visitors toured the ship while Normandy's honor guard embarked veterans participated in various memorial services and events on both sides of the English Channel. USS Normandy served as a centerpiece over the two week course of ceremonies, and specifically for national commemorations at Slapton Sands, United Kingdom on 31 May by U.S. Ambassador Crowe, and at the Normandy beachheads on 6 June by President Bill Clinton.
On 27 June 1994, Normandy participated in the Naval Station New York closing ceremonies. Staten Island's Borough President, Guy Molinari, and his daughter Congresswoman Susan Molinari were the featured speakers as the Navy turned the base over to the city's Emergency Services. After four years homeported at Staten Island, New York, Normandy departed for her new homeport of Norfolk, Virginia.
Operation Deliberate Force
On 28 August 1995, USS Normandy began a six-month deployment to the Mediterranean with the USS America. On 8 September, Normandy was in the Western Mediterranean conducting turnover with the outgoing battle group. After receiving immediate tasking to proceed at best speed to the Adriatic, Normandy sped across the 1,600 nautical miles (2,960 km) at maximum speed. Arriving in the Operation Deliberate Force theatre of operations on 10 September, Normandy launched a 13 Tomahawk missile strike against hostile air defense command and control sites in Lisina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, north of the Bosnian Serb stronghold of Banja Luka, between 20.40 and 20.45 pm. The American cruiser used a new type of Tomahawk missile, the Block-III model, which included for the first time GPS guidance in combination with its TERCOM system based on topographic maps. This gave flexibility and speed to the attack. This precision strike, flawlessly executed on extremely short notice, paved the way for follow-on tactical air strikes against Bosnian Serb military positions in the region. This action sent a strong signal of United States resolve and played a significant role in convincing the Bosnian Serb government to cease hostilities and resume peace negotiations. During the six-month deployment Normandy again served as Adriatic air-space controller for Operation Deny Flight, Sharp Guard, and Decisive Endeavor.
Exercise Bright Star and Operation Southern Watch
On 3 October 1997, Normandy once again began a six-month deployment, this time as Air Defense Commander of the USS George Washington battle group. Throughout the month of October, Normandy participated, along with 27 other international units, in Exercise Bright Star off the Egyptian coast. Upon completion of Bright Star, Normandy was directed to proceed at best speed to the Persian Gulf.
Beginning 16 November, Normandy, along with other units of the George Washington battle group, transited the Suez Canal, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, and Arabian Sea. In a record-setting five days, Normandy and George Washington entered the Persian Gulf and joined the USS Nimitz Battle Group in an impressive show of force and United Nation resolve with Iraq. Immediately, Normandy assumed duties as the "Ready Strike" platform in the Gulf and, later, also assumed the duties as the air-defense commander for the entire Persian Gulf. For four months Normandy patrolled the Gulf in support of Operation Southern Watch. During this time, she conducted several successful maritime-interception operations along with her strike and air-defense duties.
Throughout this deployment, Normandy achieved more than 300 mishap-free hours of flight operations, conducted 27 underway replenishments and sailed a total of 48,000 miles (77,000 km). Underway for the holidays, Normandy hosted pop singer Paula Cole on 23 December and the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Jay L. Johnson, along with his wife and the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, ETCM John Hagan, on Christmas morning. George Washington's battle group was relieved by the USS John C. Stennis Battle Group in the Persian Gulf and Normandy returned to her homeport of Norfolk on 3 April 1998. Normandy finished a major overhaul period in Norfolk Naval Shipyard on 28 February.
On 8 May 1990, Normandy responded to a distress call by the destroyer USS Conyngham off of the coast of Virginia. A major fuel oil fire erupted from the ship's Forward Fire Room into the ship's superstructure, isolating the crew forward and aft. Fire crews from the USS Normandy boarded the Conyngham via small boat transfer and were instrumental in extinguishing the fire.
On 21 June 2000 Normandy and the USS George Washington Battle Group deployed to the Mediterranean and the Arabian Sea. On 19 December, Normandy returned to Norfolk just in time for the holidays.
On 20 June 2002, Normandy left the US East Coast on deployment. Again assigned to the George Washington Battle Group, Normandy returned to Norfolk in December 2002.
On 25 March 2005, Normandy left the East Coast with the assault ship USS Kearsarge ESG, deployed to the Mediterranean and Northern Persian Gulf. Normandy returned to Norfolk in October 2005.
In April of 2007 Normandy deployed on her 7-month NATO cruise. Ship's crew was awarded the Article 5 NATO Medal. She returned on Halloween after 200 days of showing the flag, in the process becoming the first ship to circumnavigate Africa. On this cruise, sailors on board earned their Bluenose and Emerald Shellback.
On 20 May 2010, the Normandy deployed to the Persian Gulf for a seven-month deployment. It returned on 12 December 2010 on a bitterly cold, snowy day.
In 2012, the Normandy deployed for two months to the Baltic Sea in support of diplomatic relations in regards to BaltOps 2012 and FRUKUS 2012 (France, Russia, United Kingdom, and United States).
On 20 April 2015, the Normandy along with the USS Theodore Roosevelt were deployed off the coast of Yemen to intercept suspected Iranian weapons shipments intended for the Houthi rebels, who are locked in battle with Yemeni government forces.
USS Normandy received the Navy Unit Commendation, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Southwest Asia Service Medal (with two bronze stars) for her efforts in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. She was awarded her second Navy Unit Commendation Medal in June 1994 for her extensive participation in events commemorating D-Day. Normandy was awarded her third Navy Unit Commendation and the Meritorious Unit Commendation for her actions during her time in the Adriatic. In 1997, she won the Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Fund Award for the Atlantic Fleet.
Along with the 1998 title "Most Tomahawks shot by a US Navy cruiser", USS Normandy holds three Battle "E" Awards for overall ship-wide excellence in performance.
In 2011, former Sailors of USS Normandy got together in a hotel in Virginia, and reminisced about the good times they missed onboard Normandy. The USS Normandy Reunion Group was born.
The following year, 2012, a much more formal event was held, with a tour of the ship and a banquet. Seventy attendees, including 26 shipmates and their family members were in attendance that year, of them, 8 were original Plankowners including the ship's second Command Master Chief.
In August 2014, to mark the 25th year of Commissioning, another reunion was held in Norfolk. This reunion would see 70+ crew members, including shipmates from the Crew, The Chief's Mess, and the Wardroom, 26 Plankowners, the current Captain, Executive Officer, and Command Master Chief as well as their family members. The day's festivities included a Red Carpet tour of the ship, multiple exhibits presented onboard by current ship's company duty section, and a welcoming speech made by the Command Master Chief. The banquet that evening was marked by several raffles, a pleasant meal, fine drink and merriment and culminated in a rousing speech by the Commanding Officer.
Today, the USS Normandy Reunion Group is run and coordinated by an all volunteer group of 6 former shipmates and primarily resides on Facebook as a "USS Normandy Reunion Group" page. Any member of the Crew, Chief's Mess or Wardroom is welcome and encouraged to join as well as any direct family members. Group events are frequently updated on the page, as well as news for the next formal reunion in 2019 (5 year intervals).
- USS Normandy (CG 60)
- Rip, Michael Russell and Hasik, James M.:The Precision Revolution: GPS and the Future of Aerial Warfare. Naval Institute Press, 2002. ISBN 1-55750-973-5. Page 226
- Rip and Hasik, op. cit., pp. 227–228
- World Navies Today: US Navy Aircraft Carriers & Surface Combatants, Retrieved May 2012
- Bacon, Lance M. (13 January 2010). "Carl Vinson, 6 Other Ships Headed to Haiti". Navy Times. Retrieved 13 January 2010.
- "US aircraft carrier sent to block Iranian shipments to Yemen". Retrieved Fox News. Check date values in:
- CG 60 Normandy "Vanguards of Victory"
- This article includes information collected from the Naval Vessel Register, which, as a U.S. government publication, is in the public domain. The entry can be found here.
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