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USS PORT ROYAL was the last ship in the TICONDEROGA - class and the last cruiser in the Navy built in the 20th century. PORT ROYAL held a decommissioning ceremony at her homeport of Pearl Harbor, Hi., on September 29, 2022, and was officially decommissioned one day later.
|General Characteristics:||Keel Laid: October 18, 1991|
|Launched: November 20, 1992|
|Commissioned: July 9, 1994|
|Decommissioned: September 30, 2022|
|Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding, West Bank, Pascagoula, Miss.|
|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 |
|Armament: two |
|Crew: 33 Officers, 27 Chief Petty Officers and approx. 340 Enlisted|
This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS PORT ROYAL. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.
About the Ship's Coat of Arms:
(Click on the seal for a larger version)
Dark blue and gold are the colors traditionally associated with the Navy. Red is emblematic of courage and sacrifice. Gold denotes excellence and high ideals; blue refers to the sea in which PORT ROYAL sails. The blue and gray of the shield recall the Union and Confederate forces and the first PORT ROYAL's Civil War service, while the embattled pile alludes to the forts on either side of Port Royal Sound. The trident represents an Aegis symbol of seapower and is enflamed to symbolize past and present weapons and defense. The tines of the trident represent an Aegis cruiser's capabilities: on the surface, the subsurface, and in the air. The upward thrust of the trident head highlights the vertical launch capabilities of CG 73.
The demi-palmetto tree, adapted from the State flag of South Carolina, alludes to the Port Royal Sound and the Carolina Sea Islands where the battles occured for which the ship is named. The sword and musket, crossed to express combined arms and joint service teamwork, signify the two PORT ROYALs. The musket recalls the Revolutionary War battles and when combined with the Civil War Naval sword symbolize a continuing heritage of devotion to country, duty and the defense of freedom. The stylized Aegis array emphasizes the industrial and naval team which resulted in the American technological achievement of the Aegis combat system, while the lightning flash represents the ship's strike capabilities.
An azure edged scroll inscribed "THE WILL TO WIN" in gold.
Accidents aboard USS PORT ROYAL:
|March 37, 2002||Arabian Sea||A member of the crew of PORT ROYAL fell overboard but could quickly be rescued by an SH-60 helicopter assigned to the "Eightballers" of HS-8 embarked aboard USS JOHN C. STENNIS (CVN 74).|
|February 5, 2009||off Honolulu International Airport, Hawaii||USS PORT ROYAL runs aground half a mile off Honolulu International Airport's reef runway and remains stuck for 4 days until a 9-ship armada including the Navy's salvage ship USNS SALVOR (T-ARS 52) is able to free the cruiser. The Navy undertook three major efforts to free the PORT ROYAL and achieved success after removing about 600 tons of seawater, anchors and other weight.|
During the investigation into the cause of the grounding the ship's commanding officer, Capt. John Carroll, was temporarily relieved by Rear Adm. Dixon R. Smith, commander of Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific. Smith temporarily assigned Capt. John T. Lauer III, of Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific staff, as commanding officer.
The grounding occurred after a 4-month routine dry-dock and maintenance period at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard when the PORT ROYAL was transferring sailors, contractors and Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard workers to shore, via small boat, during her first day of sea trials. No one was injured and no oil or other contaminants have leaked except for a light surface sheen of marine diesel which burns off quickly in sunlight.
Damage caused to the PORT ROYAL included cracks in the 8-inch thick rubber sonar dome at the bow and sheared off propellers. The ship was towed back to Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard on February 9 for further damage assessment and dry-docking.
The incident investigation revealed that at the time of the grounding, PORT ROYAL's navigation equipment was broken, the bridge crew was inexperienced and that the CO had barely slept in the days before the incident. However, the investigators were convinced that the crew should still have been able to prevent the grounding. The ship's commanding officer was relieved soon after the grounding and three officers and one sailor received non-judicial punishment.
History of USS PORT ROYAL:
The life of USS PORT ROYAL as an AEGIS cruiser began at Ingalls Shipbuilding division of Litton Industries in Pascagoula, MS, with the start of fabrication work on November 9, 1990. CG 73's keel was laid on October 18, 1991. CG 73 was launched on November 20, 1992, and was christened on December 5, 1992, by Mrs. Susan G. Baker, wife of then Chief of Staff and Senior Counselor to the President, James A. Baker III. On December 6, 1993, PORT ROYAL sailed into the Gulf of Mexico for her first predelivery sea trials. The ship was delivered to the U.S. Navy by Ingalls on April 25, 1994, in preparation for formal commissioning ceremonies on July 9, 1994, in Savannah, GA.
USS PORT ROYAL was one of the two US Navy ships to first receive TBMD system modifications and SM2 Block IV-A missiles, as part of the US Navy Theater Ballistic Missile Defense (TBMD). It was scheduled to conduct at-sea testing, develop core doctrine and tactics, and serve as focal points for developing the very latest theater ballistic defense technology. USS PORT ROYAL, along with USS LAKE ERIE (CG 70), has served as an operational unit for the development of doctrine and training, in addition to performance validation of the Navy Area TBMD Program.
PORT ROYAL deployed in March 1996 as part of a battle group centered on the aircraft carrier USS NIMITZ to the waters near Taiwan. The NIMITZ battle group was the second carrier task force deployed to the area where tension were building over Chinese military exercises and missile tests just off Taiwan.
In 1997, PORT ROYAL departed on its second deployment. She conducted surface and air defense operations for the USS NIMITZ battle group as it was operating in the Persian Gulf in support of the U.S. and coalition enforcement of the no-fly-zone over Southern Iraq.
USS PORT ROYAL completed this second deployment in 1998. She supported Operation Southern Watch in the Arabian Gulf and participated in United Nations Maritime Interception Operations. USS PORT ROYAL enjoyed an historic port visit to Durban, South Africa, the first U.S. Navy ship to visit in over 25 years. While in Durban, more than 10,000 visitors toured the ship.
USS PORT ROYAL underwent successful LINEBACKER sea trials at the Pacific Missile Range, Kauai, Hawaii, in the fall of 1998. PORT ROYAL was next scheduled to participate in at-sea TBM target tracking events that same fall.
USS PORT ROYAL took part in the Northern Edge '99 Exercise. During Northern Edge '99, the Navy's Modeling and Simulation Center and the Army's Space and Missile Defense Battle Lab ran simulations which assessed the effectiveness of planned defenses against the missile threat. USS PORT ROYAL was connected to the TMD cell and shared warning information.
In January 2000, PORT ROYAL left Pearl Harbor, HI, on its third WESTPAC deployment. During the deployment, the cruiser was part of the JOHN C. STENNIS (CVN 74) Battle Group and again operated in support of Operation Southern Watch. PORT ROYAL returned to Pearl Harbor, HI, in late June 2000.
Following her return, USS PORT ROYAL entered dry dock on August 18, 2000, marking PORT ROYAL's first dry-docking since new construction in 1994. Repair of voyage casualties to the port hub and sonar dome were the hottest items for the dry dock period. Also accomplished during the dry-docking were numerous combat systems and quality of life upgrades. USS PORT ROYAL undocked from Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard Dry Dock One on the evening of October 24, 2000, before conducting sea trials during a two-day underway at the end of the month. PORT ROYAL was afterwards scheduled to make a shakedown cruise to Tahiti, French Polynesia in November.
USS PORT ROYAL conducted a Naval Surface Fire Support (NSFS) FIREX I exercise off the southeast coast of San Clemente Island on the morning of May 9, 2001. The first series of missions were spotter service exercises which were primarily conducted to train new Marine Corps spotters. Upon completion of the spotter services, the FIREX I began. The ship's forward gun mount (MT51) fired 72 rounds before a gun-loading casualty rendered it inoperative. The following day, the aft gun mount (MT52) suffered a minor casualty to the lower hoist assembly. PORT ROYAL nevertheless executed the remaining five missions of the FIREX I which included a coordinated illumination mission.
Following the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington D.C., USS PORT ROYAL departed Pearl Harbor, HI, on its fourth WESTPAC deployment on November 17, 2001. The cruiser was again assigned to the JOHN C. STENNIS Battle Group which deployed two months earlier than previously scheduled to provide support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
USS PORT ROYAL Patch Gallery:
USS PORT ROYAL Image Gallery:
The photo below was taken by me and shows the PORT ROYAL at Pearl Harbor, Hi., on March 19, 2010.
The photos below were taken by me and show the PORT ROYAL arriving at Pearl Harbor, Hi., on March 8, 2012.
The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning and show the PORT ROYAL at the Deperming Pier at Naval Base Point Loma, Calif., for a 10-day magnetic treatment (DEPERM) after previously conducting degaussing runs off Point Loma. The photos were taken on April 18, 2016.
The photo below was taken by Michael Jenning and shows the PORT ROYAL at Naval Base Pearl Harbor, Hi., on October 14, 2017.
The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning and show the PORT ROYAL undergoing a Selected Restricted Availability (SRA) at Naval Base Pearl Harbor, Hi., on June 8, 2019.