The US Navy has decommissioned the USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) guided-missile cruiser after more than three decades of service.
A ceremony commemorating the Ticonderoga-class cruiser’s decommissioning was held at Naval Base San Diego.
Commissioned in 1987, USS Mobile Bay was constructed by Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and boasts an illustrious history of service.
The guided-missile cruiser participated in the evacuation of the US Embassy in Beirut in 1989, saw service in Operation Desert Storm, the Mt. Pinatubo eruption evacuation in 1991, and contributed to Operation Iraqi Freedom.
It was the first vessel to bear the name Mobile Bay, commemorating the Battle of Mobile Bay in August 1864, a naval engagement during the American Civil War.
“The sailors of USS Mobile Bay demonstrated time and time again the resolve and readiness the Surface Force provides around the clock in support of our nation’s interests,” Vice Admiral Roy Kitchener, commander of Naval Surface Forces, said.
“Everywhere this ship and crew deployed, Mobile Bay sailors served their nation well, and lived up to the valor enshrined in the Battle of Mobile Bay,” he added.
Capt. Brandon J. Burkett, Mobile Bay’s last commanding officer, called it “an honor” to be the ship’s last captain.
After USS Mobile Bay is inactivated, it will be towed to the US Navy Inactive Ship facility in Bremerton, Washington, and thereafter be held in Logistic Support Asset status.
Part of Entire Cruiser Fleet Decommissioning
Mobile Bay’s decommissioning is part of an overall US Navy plan to decommission all Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers by 2027, making way for the more modern Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.
Furthermore, the cost of maintenance of the Cold-War era vessels has been prohibitive.
“It really comes down to – for these ships that are all over 30-years-old – whether we want to continue to pour resources into them from a modernization perspective,” Vice Adm. Scott Conn was quoted by USNI News as saying in April.