USS Mississippi (CGN-40)
|Namesake:||State of Mississippi|
|Ordered:||21 January 1972|
|Builder:||Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company|
|Laid down:||22 February 1975|
|Launched:||31 July 1976|
|Sponsored by:||Janet Finch|
|Acquired:||14 July 1978|
|Commissioned:||5 August 1978|
|Decommissioned:||28 July 1997|
|Stricken:||28 July 1997|
|Motto:||Virtute et armis (By valor and arms)|
|Class and type:||Virginia-class cruiser|
|Displacement:||approx. 11,300 tons full load|
|Length:||585 ft (178 m)|
|Beam:||63 ft (19 m)|
|Draft:||31.5 ft (9.6 m)|
|Propulsion:||Twin D2G General Electric nuclear reactors|
|Complement:||39 Officers, 539 Enlisted|
|Sensors and |
|Electronic warfare |
As built: Helicopter pad (Afterdeck)with hangar / elevator – until later retrofit to Tomahawk launchers.
USS Mississippi (CGN-40), a Virginia-class nuclear-powered guided-missile cruiser, was the fourth ship of the United States Navy named in honor of the 20th state admitted to the Union. Her keel was laid down by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company at Newport News, Virginia, on 22 February 1975. She was launched on 31 July 1976. The ship was commissioned on 5 August 1978 by Jimmy Carter, then serving as the 39th president of the United States. Early deployment included escorting the carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68). She also was deployed in 1989 as a response to the capture and subsequent murder of U.S. Marine Corps Colonel William R. Higgins by terrorists.
Mississippi (DLGN 40) was laid down on 22 February 1975 at Newport News, Virginia, by Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co.; reclassified as a guided missile cruiser and designated CGN 40 on 30 June 1975; launched on 31 July 1976; sponsored by Miss. Janet H. Finch, daughter of Governor Charles C. Finch of Mississippi; and, in ceremonies attended by President James E. [Jimmy] Carter, Jr., Secretary of Defense Harold Brown, and Senator John C. Stennis of Mississippi, was commissioned at Norfolk, Virginia, on 5 August 1978, Capt. Peter M. Hekman, Jr., in command.
Mississippi conducted her shakedown cruise to Caribbean and South American waters (8 January–13 February 1979), then made her first deployment—to the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean – (3 August 1981 – 12 February 1982) during a confrontation between the United States and Libya. She operated as part of the screen for aircraft carriers Nimitz and Forrestal during the Gulf of Sidra incident. Mississippi fired three RIM-66B Standard SM-1 surface-to-air missiles during a live-fire exercise.
While Mississippi steamed with Nimitz and guided missile cruiser Arkansas off the coast of Lebanon, she received a distress call from Greek cargo vessel Andalusia, at 00:30 on 3 December 1982). Crew 11, a Lockheed P-3C Orion from VP-49, vectored Mississippi to Andalusia and the cruiser rescued all 19 crewmembers. Two Sikorsky Sea Kings from HS-9 operating from Nimitz transferred survivors from Mississippi to the carrier. Mississippi's chief engineer and damage control assistant inspected Andalusia but determined that her damage precluded salvage, and the ship sank at 08:24, 1,200 yards off the port bow of the cruiser in 195 fathoms (36°1'N, 12°19'2"E).
On 1 August 1989 Arab terrorists in Beirut, Lebanon, kidnapped and hanged Lt. Col. William R. Higgins, USMC, a member of the UN peacekeeping forces in Lebanon, and threatened to murder additional hostages they held. The carrier America departed early from a visit to Singapore and made for the Arabian Sea, and Coral Sea steamed from Alexandria, Egypt, to the Eastern Mediterranean as a show of force. Mississippi had deployed as part of the Sixth Fleet's Med 3–89 Battle Force and was visiting Haifa, Israel, when the crisis began. She emergency sortied and operated as the battle group's Composite Warfare Coordinator for anti-surface warfare off the Lebanese littoral throughout the remainder of the month. Midway had originally been scheduled to participate in Pacific Exercise-89, but sailed to fill a carrier commitment in the Indian Ocean, where she operated until mid-October.
Mississippi deployed with the John F. Kennedy Battle Group to the Mediterranean for Operations Desert Shield/Storm (16 August 1990 – 28 March 1991). She escorted the carrier Theodore Roosevelt, which broke with her conventionally fueled battle group upon exiting the Suez Canal. These two ships travelled at flank speed the length of the Red Sea and through the Bab-el-Mandeb into the Gulf of Aden arriving on (15 January). The importance of that day and break-neck speed to arrive on it was due to uncertainty about Yemen's position on the war, getting the carrier beyond shore batteries and short range patrol boats in the narrow straights was a priority before hostilities could commence on (16 January). Mississippi then waited off the coast of Yemen to escort the engine room troubled Nitro through the Bab-el-Mandeb (18 January) and out beyond the Gulf of Aden. As an ammunition ship, Nitro was needed for battleship shore battery and amphibious landing support. Once escort duty was complete Mississippi made flank speed to her launch position in the northern Red Sea. Mississippi fired three BGM-109 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMs) at Iraqi strategic and military targets (25 January 1991) and two more the following day. One Tomahawk failed after launch and landed in the sea after a short erratic flight. The ship then operated as the local anti-air warfare screen commander for the Red Sea Battle Force (27 January – 24 February).
Following the Haitian Army's overthrow of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide (September 1991), a succession of governments led to sectarian violence. The UN authorized force to restore order and the U.S. initiated Operations Support Democracy and Uphold/Restore Democracy—Uphold Democracy for a peaceful entry into Haiti, and "Restore Democracy" in the event of resistance. Mississippi enforced the embargoes imposed upon Haiti as part of "Support Democracy" (14 July – 3 August). The deteriorating situation then (12 September 1994) prompted the dispatch of a multinational force that included the carriers America and Dwight D. Eisenhower—about 1,800 soldiers of the Army's XVIII Airborne Corps embarked on board Dwight D. Eisenhower. The Haitians agreed to allow the Americans to land peacefully, and (31 March 1995) the U.S. transferred peacekeeping functions to international forces. The crisis marked the first deployment operationally of Army helicopters on board a carrier in lieu of most of an air wing.
NATO and the UN carried out Operations: Provide Promise to provide humanitarian relief for people displaced by the fighting in former Yugoslavia (2 July 1992 – 9 January 1996); Deny Flight to monitor the air space over Bosnia-Herzegovina to prevent the warring parties from using their air strength (12 April 1993 – 21 December 1995); and Sharp Guard to enforce the arms embargo against the combatants (15 June 1993 – 2 October 1996). Mississippi served as Red Crown—coordinating air operations—in the Maverick Operating Area in the Adriatic Sea (2–18 April, 14–21 May, 11–21 June, 30 June – 9 July, 22–27 July, and 22 August–6 September 1995). In addition, the cruiser intercepted Polish vessel Dajti, and her boarding team boarded and inspected the Eastern European ship as a possible smuggler (7 April).
Two Cuban Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-29UB Fulcrums shot down two Cessna 337 Skymasters flown by the "Brothers to the Rescue," a non-profit organization opposed to the Cuban government of Fidel Castro, over contested international waters (24 February 1996). Mississippi led a surface action group that included guided missile cruiser Ticonderoga and guided missile frigate John L. Hall during Operations Sentinel Lifeguard, Standoff IV, and Escort 1–96 in the Straits of Florida in response to the Cubans' downing the Skymasters (25–28 February and 1–7 March). In addition, the group escorted a civilian flotilla that laid a wreath on the water where the victims fell.
By 1995 it was determined her nuclear reactors would need to be refueled, but cuts in the Navy budget ruled out the refueling overhaul the ship would need to continue in service. After serving just 18 years in commissioned service, USS Mississippi (CGN-40) was deactivated on 6 September 1996 at Norfolk and was decommissioned and struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 28 July 1997. The ship was prepared and then towed from Norfolk, Virginia, to Bremerton, Washington, via the Panama Canal from March 1998 to May 1998. The MSC fleet tug USNS Mohawk executed the initial tow until ex-Mississippi was moored at Rodman Naval Station, Panama. The Pacific tow was completed by USNS Navajo to the Naval Sea Systems Command Inactive Ships Onsite Maintenance Office, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington.
ex-Mississippi entered the Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program around October 2004 and recycling was completed 30 November 2007.
In 2003, the ship's main mast was installed at the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.
USS Texas (DLGN/CGN-39) was the United States Navy's second Virginia-class nuclear guided missile cruiser. She was the third ship of the Navy to be named in honor of the State of Texas. Her keel was laid down on 18 August 1973, at Newport News, Virginia, by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company.
USS Virginia (CGN-38) was a nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser, the lead ship of her class, and the eighth ship of the United States Navy to be named for the Commonwealth of Virginia. She was commissioned in 1976 and decommissioned in 1994.
USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) is a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier currently in service with the United States Navy. Commissioned in 1977, the ship is the second of the ten Nimitz-class aircraft carriers currently in service, and is the first ship named after the 34th President of the United States and General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower. The vessel was initially named simply as USS Eisenhower, much like the lead ship of the class, Nimitz, but the name was changed to its present form on 25 May 1970. The carrier, like all others of her class, was constructed at Newport News Shipbuilding Company in Virginia, with the same design as the lead ship, although the ship has been overhauled twice to bring her up to the standards of those constructed more recently.
USS Enterprise (CVN-65), formerly CVA(N)-65, is a decommissioned United States Navy aircraft carrier. She was the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and the eighth United States naval vessel to bear the name. Like her predecessor of World War II fame, she is nicknamed "Big E". At 1,123 feet (342 m), she is the longest naval vessel ever built. Her 93,284-long-ton (94,781 t) displacement ranks her as the 12th-heaviest carrier, after the ten carriers of the Nimitz class and USS Gerald R. Ford. Enterprise had a crew of some 4,600 service members.
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USS Long Beach (CLGN-160/CGN-160/CGN-9) was a nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser in the United States Navy and the world's first nuclear-powered surface combatant. She was the third Navy ship named after the city of Long Beach, California.
USS Arkansas (CGN-41) was a Virginia-class nuclear-propelled guided-missile cruiser of the U.S. Navy. She was in commission from October 1980 through July 1998. Her primary missions were in defending aircraft carrier task forces in air defense (AAW) and antisubmarine warfare (ASW) by using her guided missiles, radar systems, and sonar systems. Since Arkansas had the high speed and unlimited range provided by her nuclear reactors, she usually escorted the nuclear-powered aircraft carriers of the U.S. Navy.
USS Cheyenne (SSN-773), the final Los Angeles-class submarine, is the third ship of the United States Navy to be named for Cheyenne, Wyoming. The contract to build her was awarded to Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in Newport News, Virginia on 28 November 1989 and her keel was laid down on 6 July 1992. She was launched on 16 April 1995 sponsored by Mrs. Ann Simpson, wife of Wyoming Senator Alan K. Simpson, and commissioned on 13 September 1996, with Commander Peter H. Ozimik in command. Cheyenne transferred to her homeport of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in 1998.
USS Bainbridge (DLGN-25/CGN-25) was a nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser in the United States Navy, the only ship of her class. Named in honor of Commodore William Bainbridge, she was the fourth US Navy ship to bear the name. With her original hull classification symbol of DLGN, she was the first nuclear-powered destroyer-type ship in the US Navy, and shared her name with the lead ship of the first US Navy destroyer class, the Bainbridge-class destroyers.
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USS Barry (DDG-52) is an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, commissioned in 1992. Barry is the fourth United States Navy ship named after the "Father of the American Navy", Commodore John Barry (1745–1803). Its homeport is Naval Station Yokosuka, Japan. Several improvements over Arleigh Burke exist on this ship and all following Arleigh Burke-class destroyers. They include the ability to refuel a helicopter and several other small improvements.
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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 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, which took place on and following D-Day.
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USS California (CGN-36), the lead ship of the California-class of nuclear-powered guided missile cruisers, was the sixth warship of the United States Navy to be named for the State of California.
United States ship naming conventions for the U.S. Navy were established by Congressional action at least as early as 1862. Title Thirteen, Chapter Six, of the U.S. Code, enacted in that year, reads, in part,
"The vessels of the Navy shall be named by the Secretary of the Navy under direction of the President according to the following rule:
Sailing-vessels of the first class shall be named after the States of the Union, those of the second class after the rivers, those of the third class after the principal cities and towns and those of the fourth class as the President may direct."
Joseph Paul Reason was Commander in Chief, United States Atlantic Fleet from 1996 to 1999. Earlier in his career, as a commander, he was naval aide to the President of the United States, Jimmy Carter, from December 1976 to June 1979. In 1996, Reason became the first African-American officer in the United States Navy to become a four-star admiral.
The United States Navy at one time had nuclear-powered cruisers as part of its fleet. The first such ship was USS Long Beach (CGN-9). Commissioned in late summer 1961, she was the world's first nuclear-powered surface combatant. She was followed a year later by USS Bainbridge (DLGN-25). While Long Beach was a 'true cruiser', meaning she was designed and built as a cruiser, Bainbridge began life as a frigate, though at that time the Navy was using the hull code "DLGN" for "destroyer leader, guided missile, nuclear". This was prior to the enactment of the 1975 ship reclassification plan, in which frigates (DLG/DLGN),, were reclassified as cruisers, so that the US Navy's numbers would compete with those of the Soviet Navy. Long Beach, the largest of all the nuclear cruisers, was equipped with a C1W cruiser reactor, while all the others were equipped with D2G destroyer reactors.
This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships .
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