USS GETTYSBURG is the 18th TICONDEROGA class guided missile cruiser and the sixth ship in her class built by Bath Iron Works in Maine. The GETTYSBURG is presently laid up at Naval Base Norfolk, Va., while she is part of the Navy's Cruiser Phased Modernization Program. The ship will later undergo modernization and return to service by 2021, replacing an older sistership. The procedure started in 2015 at the ship's homeport of Mayport, Fla., from where she was later towed to her new administrative homeport of Norfolk, Va., by the USNS GRAPPLE (T-ARS 53). The program follows a 2-4-6 plan meaning that each year no more than two cruisers will be placed in phased modernization; no cruiser will remain in phased modernization for more than 4 years; and no more than six cruisers may be in phased modernization at the same time.
|General Characteristics:||Awarded: January 8, 1986|
|Keel laid: August 17, 1988|
|Launched: July 22, 1989|
|Commissioned: June 22, 1991|
|Builder: Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine|
|Propulsion system: four General Electric LM 2500 gas turbine engines|
|Blades on each Propeller: five|
|Length: 567 feet (173 meters)|
|Beam: 55 feet (16.8 meters)|
|Draft: 34 feet (10.2 meters)|
|Displacement: approx. 9,600 tons full load|
|Speed: 30+ knots|
|Cost: about $1 billion|
|Aircraft: two SH-60 Sea Hawk (LAMPS 3)|
|Armament: two Mk 41 VLS for Standard missiles, Tomahawk, ASROC; Mk 46 torpedoes, Harpoon missile launchers, two Mk 45 5-inch/54 caliber lightweight guns, two Phalanx CIWS, two Mk 38 Mod 2 25mm machine gun systems|
|Homeport: Mayport, FL|
|Crew: 33 Officers, 27 Chief Petty Officers and approx. 340 Enlisted|
This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS GETTYSBURG. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.
USS GETTYSBURG Cruise Books:
About the Ship’s Coat of Arms:
Dark Blue and gold are the traditional Navy colors. The shield, divided dark blue and gray, refers to the colors of the Union and Confederate Armies and a country split by war. White expresses peace and optimism and red is a reminder of the immeasurable valor and blood shed at the epic battle of Gettysburg. The three pheons represent the number of days of this intense Civil War battle and allude to the Union and Confederate assault lines. The pheons point up portraying GETTYSBURG's vertical launch capabilities. Their number also reflects three major Aegis cruiser missions, anti-air, anti-surface, and anti-submarine warfare. The arch recalls Seminary Ridge, Culp's Hill and Little Round Top, critical positions on the Gettysburg battlefield. The anchor symbolizes sea prowess and the ties with the ship's Maine birthplace, the two stars represent the two previous ship's named "GETTYSBURG".
At the dedication of the National Cemetery on the Gettysburg battle ground, President Lincoln delivered his immortal Gettysburg Address. The scroll with a drop of blood honors those famous words, especially "... that these dead shall not have died in vain." Our national bird, the bald eagle, appropriately represents President Lincoln and the Union he strove to preserve; and the eagle also emphasizes the Union's victory. Gettysburg was the turning point in the Civil War, which ultimately forged a stronger nation. The inverted wreath honors all who died, Union and Confederate alike. Muskets were in general use during the Civil War and highlight the hand to hand combat as both sides exploded in a tremendous clash of musketry.
USS GETTYSBURG in the News:
About the Ship’s Name, about the Battle of Gettysburg:
On July 1-3, 1863, General Robert E. Lee’s Confederates attacked General George Meade’s Union forces, who were entrenched near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The climax of the battle was Pickett’s Charge. Losses at Gettysburg were heavy on both sides, but it was the defeated Lee who was forced to retreat into Virginia.
The Battle of Gettysburg ended in one of the bravest, and most disastrous, attacks in American history. Confederate general George E. Pickett (1825-75) advanced against the Union trenches with 15,000 men. They were mown down by artillery and rifle fire. About 10,000 Confederates were killed or wounded in the attack. Afterwards, it became known as Pickett’s Charge.
Accidents aboard USS GETTYSBURG:
|October 13, 1996||northern Arabian Gulf||While maneuvering and acting as plane guard for USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65) the USS GETTYSBURG collided with the Iranian Corvette BAYANDOR.|
History of USS GETTYSBURG:
USS GETTYSBURG was one of six U.S. Navy ships ordered by President Clinton on October 15, 1993, to be deployed to enforce a trade embargo against Haiti as part of Operation "Support Democracy". The order came the day after the United Nations Security Council voted to reimpose stiff sanctions against Haiti, including an embargo on oil products, until order was restored and the Governors Island process clearly resumed. GETTYSBURG was one of five ships replaced less than two weeks later so as to permit it and the others to resume previously scheduled assignments.
In June 1994, USS GETTYSBURG participated in the twenty-second edition of Baltic Operations, "BALTOPS 94". USS GETTYSBURG, along with the guided missile frigate USS HALYBURTON (FFG 40), then made port calls to Capetown and Simonstown in South Africa from November 8-14, 1994, marking the first visit to South African ports in 27 years by a U.S. Navy warship; the last one having been the aircraft carrier USS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT in February 1967.
On November 30, 1994, USS GETTYSBURG, along with the USS HALYBURTON (FFG 40), was diverted by COMUSNAVCENT on a rescue mission and to provide assistance to the Italian cruise ship ACHILLE LAURO, made famous by its hijcking in October 1985, which was on fire about 130 miles east off Somalia in the Indian Ocean. The decision to divert the ships was made after receiving word of the fire from the search and rescue center in Norway. The Navy ships were operating about 350 miles north of the ACHILLE LAURO's position. ACHILLE LAURO's burnt out hulk sunk a few days later on December 2.
As the Navy ships approached the scene, a helicopter operating from the deck of GETTYSBURG overflew the merchants, then returned to GETTYSBURG to retrieve medical supplies and food to support the evacuated passengers. GETTYSBURG's Commanding Officer, was designated the Navy's on-scene commander, and was tasked with assessing further rescue operations upon his ship's arrival. USS GETTYSBURG then deployed to the Arabian Gulf.
Along with the USS ENTERPRISE, USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720), USS SUPPLY, the USS GETTYSBURG transitted in mid-September 1996, to join the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command area of responsibility, as part of Operation Desert Strike.
The USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65) Battle Group, which included the USS GETTYSBURG, deployed for a scheduled six-month period on November 6, 1998 to the Arabian Gulf. During this deployment, GETTYSBURG took part in Operation Desert Fox, an operation designed to degrade Saddam Hussein's ability to deliver chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, and wage war against his neighbors. The operation was a 70-hour-long assault which took place from December 16-20. The GETTYSBURG performed as the Air Defense Commander for the ENTERPRISE Battle Group, conducted Tomahawk strikes against Iraq during Operation Desert Fox, and conducted Maritime Interdiction Operations in support of UN sanctions against Iraq.
USS GETTYSBURG operated in 1998 in the Adriatic as part of Operation Deliberate Forge adding military weight to ongoing diplomatic negotiations regarding Kosovo.
USS GETTYSBURG, sailed into the Adriatic Sea on January 20, 1999 as part of the USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65) Battle Group.
GETTYSBURG deployed with the USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65) Battle Group as it was conducting training in the Atlantic in September 2000.
GETTYSBURG deployed in 2001 for a six-month period with the USS ENTERPRISE, to conduct multinational and joint operations with navies of various European countries, and visit ports in Mediterranean and Arabian Gulf nations. The ships and squadrons of the Battle Group were scheduled to return home in October 2001. USS GETTYSBURG returned to its home port prior to the initiation of the strikes against Afghanistan.
USS GETTYSBURG Patch Gallery:
USS GETTYSBURG Image Gallery:
The photos below were taken by me and show the GETTYSBURG at Naval Station Mayport, Fla., on July 31, 2000.
The photos below were taken by me and show the GETTYSBURG at Kiel, Germany, on June 20-21, 2008, after her participation in BALTOPS 2008.
The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning and show the GETTYSBURG laid up at Naval Base Norfolk, Va., on April 13, 2016. The GETTYSBURG is presently involved in the Navy's Cruiser Phased Modernization Program which means that the ship is presently laid up and maintained by a small 45-person crew. The ship will later undergo modernization and return to service by 2021, replacing an older sistership. The procedure started in 2015 at the ship's homeport of Mayport, Fla., from where she was later towed to her new administrative homeport of Norfolk, Va., by the USNS GRAPPLE (T-ARS 53). The program follows a 2-4-6 plan meaning that each year no more than two cruisers will be placed in phased modernization; no cruiser will remain in phased modernization for more than 4 years; and no more than six cruisers may be in phased modernization at the same time. Note the Battenberg Cup painting on the forward superstructure commemorating the GETTYSBURG as the 2013 winner of the trophy which is an annual award for the best East Coast-based Navy ship.
The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning and show the GETTYSBURG undergoing a Special Selected Restricted Availability (SSRA) at BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair on October 12, 2016. GETTYSBURG entered the shipyard on June 6, 2016. The SSRA is part of the Navy's Cruiser Phased Modernization Program.