The US Navy officially decommissioned two of its modern guided-missile cruisers, the USS Anzio (CG 68) and the USS Hué City (CG 66), after 30 and 31 years of active service.
The two Ticonderoga-class ships are among five vessels in the class retired by the US in 2022.
Early this year, the navy announced a plan to decommission the entire fleet of guided-missile cruisers by 2027 due to the cost of modernizing the decades-old ships.
With their withdrawal from service, the ships will be towed to the navy’s inactive ship’s facility in Philadelphia under the status of a Logistical Support Asset.
The USS Anzio, commissioned in May 1992, played a key role in the country’s national defense strategy, the navy said in a statement.
“Over the years, the Anzio team supported Operation Iraqi Freedom, firing more than a dozen Tomahawk missiles while on station and served as the flagship for Combined Task Force 151 supporting anti-piracy efforts off the horn of Africa,” the service said.
In 2016, USS Anzio crew rescued 10 American sailors held captive by the Iranian military following unintentional entry into the country’s territorial waters.
“From the countless hundreds of thousands of miles traveled to the comradery cemented in foreign port calls, the one thing that holds true is the connections Anzio Sailors made with each other and the bonds that formed during their service together,” Commander Greg J. Piorun, Jr said.
The US Navy awarded aerospace company BAE Systems a $45.3 million contract in December 2017 to modernize the Anzio.
The 567-foot (173 meters) cruiser underwent major alterations and miscellaneous repairs for six months, including the replacement of critical aluminum structures.
USS Hué City
The USS Hué City, named in commemoration of the Vietnam War, also played a major role in protecting American waters, the navy said.
The 31-year-old cruiser supported numerous exercises and provided humanitarian assistance, especially off the coast of New York following 9/11.
“Her crew sailed with the full knowledge of the heritage that sailed with them and in striving to remain true to it, built a legacy of success of their own,” Commander Thad Tasso said.
“As she now takes her rightful place in our Navy’s history, I can think of no more fitting epitaph for her service than ‘she was worthy of the name she bears.’”
In 2019, USS Hué City entered the navy’s Cruiser Modernization Program for “extensive structural, mechanical, and combat systems upgrades.”
“Her upcoming overhaul will not only extend the life of this critical capability, but will help the Navy on its mission to grow the fleet and expand our warfighting advantage,” program manager for surface ship modernization Capt. Kevin Byrne said in a statement.
The Ticonderoga-class is a large multi-mission surface combatant capable of supporting carrier battle groups.
The cruisers feature Tomahawk cruise missiles for additional long-range strike warfare capability, particularly air warfare, undersea warfare, naval surface fire support, and surface warfare.
By 2023, another five guided-missile cruisers are set to retire from service: USS Vicksburg, USS Bunker Hill, USS Mobile Bay, USS San Jacinto, and USS Lake Champlain.