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General Characteristics Crew List Memorabilia About the Ship's Coat of Arms Accidents aboard the Ship USS Mobile Bay History About the Ship's Name Some Details Patch Gallery Image Gallery to end of page

USS Mobile Bay (CG 53)

USS MOBILE BAY is the seventh ship in the TICONDEROGA - class of guided missile cruisers and the second ship in the class equipped with the Mk 41 VLS.

General Characteristics:Awarded: January 15, 1982
Keel laid: June 6, 1984
Launched: August 22, 1985
Commissioned: February 21, 1987
Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding, West Bank, Pascagoula, Miss.
Propulsion system: four General Electric LM 2500 gas turbine engines
Propellers: two
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: San Diego, CA
Crew: 33 Officers, 27 Chief Petty Officers and approx. 340 Enlisted

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Crew List:

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS MOBILE BAY. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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About the Ship's Coat of Arms:

USS MOBILE BAY's shield, located in the center of the crest, contains a ship's wheel and crossed cutlass and sword. The wheel represents naval leadership on the oceans of the world. The modern ship, crossed swords, and cutlass signify professional expertise and the spirit of the Surface Warfare community from which the ship's officers and crew are drawn. A naval cannon, typical of armaments used in the Battle of Mobile Bay, supports the shield and symbolizes ancient and modern weaponry.

The ships' crest recalls the Battle of Mobile Bay by the silhouettes of the steam sloop USS Hartford and CSS Tennessee. The former was the flagship of Admiral David Farragut's Federal Fleet and the later a ram of the Confederate Navy. The four stars reflect Admiral Farragut's commission as the Navy's first four-star admiral.

The shield's border is made up of a continuous anchor chain signifies a unity of purpose and teamwork; the elongated octagonal band suggests the unique, primary radar associated with the AEGIS system.

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Accidents aboard USS MOBILE BAY:

September 6, 2002Arabian Gulf While flying in support of maritime interdiction operations one of MOBILE BAY's SH-60 helicopters crashed in the Arabian Gulf. A civilian television cameraman was killed and four US Navy sailors were injured.

The cameraman, from KCBS-TV Los Angeles, was filming a news story on the US Navy.

The helicopter had been hovering over a Syrian-flagged vessel to observe a maritime health inspection boarding when its rotor blades hit the ship's mast.

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History of USS MOBILE BAY:

USS MOBILE BAY was built in Pascagoula, Mississippi, by Ingalls Shipbuilding Division of Litton Industries. The cruiser was commissioned on 21 February 1987 at the Alabama State Docks in Mobile, Alabama.

After commissioning, MOBILE BAY joined the U. S. Atlantic Fleet, arriving at its Mayport, Florida, homeport in March 1987. Following a year of crew qualifications, tests and systems trials, MOBILE BAY embarked on its maiden deployment on 11 May 1989. During this cruise, MOBILE BAY earned its first two awards: the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and the Armed Services Expeditionary Medal, for operations conducted in the Gulf of Oman.

In June of 1990, MOBILE BAY shifted homeports from Mayport, Florida to Yokosuka, Japan. Shortly thereafter, MOBILE BAY deployed in August 1990 in support of Operation Desert Shield and Storm, becoming the first Aegis cruiser to circumnavigate the globe. In the Arabian Gulf, the ship distinguished itself 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 controlling carrier-launched attack aircraft that contributed to the complete destruction of the Iraqi Navy.

In May of 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 Arabian Gulf deployment.

On 15 April 1992, MOBILE BAY once again set sail for the Arabian 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 Arabian 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.

In May 1993, MOBILE BAY steamed to Western Australia for SPRING TRAINING-93, a multi-national exercise involving units of the U. S., Royal Australian, and Singaporean Navies. In September of 1993, MOBILE BAY made an historic visit to the Russian seaport of Vladivostok. Departing Russia, MOBILE BAY participated in ANNUALEX-93 before returning to Yokosuka to finish preparations for an upcoming Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf deployment.

On 17 November 1993, MOBILE BAY departed Yokosuka for a third deployment in three years. Arriving in the Arabian Gulf a month later, MOBILE BAY immediately assumed duties as Anti-Air Warfare Commander for naval forces in the Gulf. Remaining on station until February 1994, MOBILE BAY helped to maintain stability in the region. MOBILE BAY completed this deployment on 17 March 1994, returning to Yokosuka.

In May of 1994, MOBILE BAY left home waters to participate in RIMPAC-94, a month-long exercise in the mid-Pacific involving over 50 warships from five Pacific Rim nations.

In spring 1999, the MOBILE BAY sailed three times through the Taiwan Straits during a period of tension between Taiwan and China, and in June 1999 it was dispatched to Korea during the "Crab Wars" over fishing rights between North and South Korea.

In early May 1999, USS MOBILE BAY deployed to Singapore to participate in the 1999 International Maritime Defense Exhibition (IMDEX) Asia, there.

In mid-1999, USS MOBILE BAY deployed to serve US forces supporting INTERFET operations off the coast of East Timor. Sailing south on August 23, 1999, for a series of routine Australian port visits and Exercise Crocodile 99, USS MOBILE BAY was redirected by Commander, 7th Fleet, and told to sail for the waters of East Timor. As the first U.S. forces on the scene, MOBILE BAY was designated as Commander, Joint Task Force Timor Sea Operations (CJTF TSO). During Timor Sea operations, MOBILE BAY performed many missions including guard ship; U.S. armed forces sanctuary; air surveillance; intelligence gathering; Timor ground operations repair efforts; link manager (which provided primary air tracking in support of aircraft into and out of East Timor carrying supplies and troops); and ship escort.

Following the East Timor operation, MOBILE BAY Bay visited Singapore; Pattaya, Thailand; Kagoshima and Sasebo, Japan. After the Sasebo port visit, MOBILE BAY participated in early November in the joint exercise Annualex, with the Japanese navy.

In July 2000, USS MOBILE BAY changed homeports from Yokosuka, Japan, to San Diego, CA, ending 10 years of 7th Fleet service.

USS MOBILE BAY was refurbished in 2001 as one of the Navy’s first "Smart Ships," and one of four ships selected to test how well Navy vessels can operate with sharply reduced crews. MOBILE BAY had been nominated for the Navy’s "Optimal Manning Project", an early test of concepts to be integrated into the design of DD-21.

On December 21, 2001, a U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment, operating from the USS MOBILE BAY, seized 10.5 metric tons of cocaine approximately 800 miles southwest of Acapulco, Mexico.

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Some Details:

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About the Ship’s Name, about the Battle of Mobile Bay:

USS MOBILE BAY takes its name from the famous Civil War naval battle between Union forces under the command of Admiral David Farragut, and Confederate forces, under Admiral Franklin Buchanan.

By 1864, Mobile, Alabama, was the last Gulf Coast port of any consequence still remaining in Confederate hands. The only entrance to Mobile Bay was a channel running between Forts Morgan and Gaines, reduced to a width of 150 yards by Confederate mines and obstructions. Such Southern strategy forced Admiral Farragut to place his eighteen-ship force within easy range of Fort Morgan's heavy guns. Embarked in the flagship USS HARTFORD just outside Mobile Bay, Farragut scrutinized the forts and other bay defenses, sending in small boats by night to chart obstructions and mines.

Admiral Buchanan, the ranking officer of the Confederate Navy, was ordered to Mobile from Hampton Roads, Virginia, following his battle with USS MONITOR. He began to frantically work to organize a fleet in hopes of countering the imminent Union attack. The monitor CSS TENNESSEE had been floated down river to receive armor. Along with the monitor came three small, old wooden gunboats: MORGAN, GAINES, and SELMA. The group of four Confederate ships was all that stood between the Union Fleet and the port of Mobile.

On the morning of 5 August 1864, the Federal Fleet, led by the monitor TECUMSEH, entered the channel. Abreast of Fort Morgan, TECUMSEH veered from its course and dashed at TENNESSEE. When just 100 yards from TENNESSEE, TECUMSEH ran into a mine that exploded and ripped out its bottom. The ship sank almost instantly, its stern rising out of the water so that the propeller was seen turning in the air as it slipped beneath the waves. The battle line broke and ships backed up on one another. With fire from Fort Morgan raining upon them, they tangled in the channel. Then Farragut, lashed in the rigging of the HARTFORD, "damned the torpedoes" and moved into the bay at full speed.

TENNESSEE and its three tiny gunboats moved down to meet them, 20 guns against 200, and four ships against seventeen. MORGAN, GAINES, and SELMA were quickly out-of-action, leaving TENNESSEE to stand alone against the entire Union Fleet.

Farragut's ships converged upon the great ironclad, firing broadsides and ramming it at full speed with their prows. After two hours, TENNESSEE was dead in the water, its steering gone and stack shot away, filling the gun-deck with suffocating heat and flames. Only then did the wounded Admiral Buchanan give the order to surrender. TENNESSEE's colors came down, concluding one of the most important battles in the Civil War.

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USS MOBILE BAY Patch Gallery:

HSL 49 Det 7HSL Detachment

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The photo below was taken by William Chiu when USS MOBILE BAY visited Hong Kong on April 2, 1991.

The photo below was taken by me on July 27, 2006, and shows the MOBILE BAY berthed at Pearl Harbor, HI., after her participation in RIMPAC 2006.

The photos below were taken by me on March 23, 2010, and show the MOBILE BAY at Naval Base San Diego, Calif.

The photos below were taken by me on March 15, 2012, and show the MOBILE BAY at Naval Base San Diego, Calif.

The photos below were taken by me on May 10, 2012, and show the MOBILE BAY at Naval Base San Diego, Calif.

The photo below was taken by Lydia Perz and shows the MOBILE BAY at BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair during a six-month Selected Restricted Availability (SRA). The photo was taken on May 3, 2014.

The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning and show the MOBILE BAY at Naval Base San Diego, Calif., on December 27, 2014.

The photo below was taken by Michael Jenning and shows the MOBILE BAY at Naval Base San Diego, Calif., on October 2, 2015.

The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning and show the MOBILE BAY arriving at San Francisco, Calif., during the Parade of Ships as part of the city's Fleet Week on October 7, 2016.

The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning on October 8, 2016, during an open ship aboard USS MOBILE BAY (CG 53) as part of Fleet Week San Francisco, Calif.

Click here for more Photos.

The photos below were taken by Sebastian Thoma and show the MOBILE BAY at Naval Base San Diego, Calif., on December 20, 2016.

The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning and show the MOBILE BAY at Naval Base San Diego, Calif., on October 11, 2017. Note that she is carrying the Golden Battle E on the bridge bulwark meaning that she has been the recipient of the last five Battle E awards of her squadron. The Golden Battle E is a rare sight in the fleet.

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