USS CORONADO AGF 11
The Coronado (LPD 11) was built by Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Company in Seattle, Washington. Her keel was laid down on May 3, 1965, and the ship was launched on July 30, 1966. She was commissioned on May 23, 1970.
USS Coronado was designed as an Amphibious Transport Dock (LPD), built to transport Marines and their equipment to the scene of an amphibious assault, and move them ashore by landing craft and helicopters. The ship is one of seven fitted with additional superstructure for command ship duties.
First assigned to the U. S. Atlantic Fleet in the 1970's, the Coronado conducted extensive operations and deployed on numerous occasions to Northern Europe and the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas.
In 1980, she was redesignated an AGF (Miscellaneous Command Ship). Her first assignment was to relieve the USS La Salle (AGF 3) as the command ship for Commander, U. S. Middle East Force, stationed in the Arabian Gulf.
Reassigned in October 1985, USS Coronado relieved USS Puget Sound (AD 38) as the command ship of Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet. During her ten month tour with the 6th Fleet, she operated out of Gaeta, Italy, participating in operations in the Gulf of Sidra and strikes against Libyan terrorist support facilities.
In July 1986, USS Coronado was relieved as U.S. 6th Fleet command ship and ordered to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, to become the 3rd Fleet command ship. Subsequently, she was relieved as 3rd Fleet command ship and deployed to the Arabian Gulf to assume duties as command ship for Commander, Middle East Force in January of 1988. Upon her return to Pearl Harbor in November, she again assumed her duties as command ship for 3rd Fleet.
USS Coronado remained homeported in Hawaii until August 1991, when it changed homeport to Naval Air Station North Island, in her namesake city of Coronado, California.
In 1998, USS Coronado became the most advanced command ship in the world as the large ship modification was completed, including the latest network technology.
January 23, 2003 USS Coronado is currently underway off the coast of southern California, with the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Carrier Strike Group, for it's first Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX). Typically, the command ship plays a support role, distributing information and scenarios to the other ships in this tactical exercise. Now, Coronado Sailors may find themselves knee-deep in unanticipated training evolutions. In previous JTFEXs, AGF 11 has been a neutral participant; the ship wasn’t playing a role on either the opposition or the allied forces.
May 28, Vice Adm. Michael J. McCabe relieved Vice Adm. T. Michael "Smiles" Bucchi as Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the Coronado.
June 10, Auxuliary command ship USS Coronado, along with USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), USS Howard (DDG 83), USS Ford (FFG 54) and USS Elliot (DD 967), pulled into Portland, Oregon, to participate in the annual Rose Festival.
March 5, 2004 USS Coronado, commanded by Capt. Christopher D. Noble, departed Naval Submarine Base Point Loma for its first major deployment to the Western Pacific since 1997. The command and control ship, and former flagshp of Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, will temporarily fill in for USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet's flagship, while it undergoes a maintenance period. Coronado will test a new concept of manning during its trip to Japan. Usually, a ship of this type is manned by a crew of 481 Sailors. Coronado will have only 117 Sailors--and 146 Civilian Mariners (CIVMARS). This combined crew is an experiment directed at operating Navy ships at a reduced cost while maintaining and improving capability. USS Coronado recently completed a two-month yard period, during which its basic engineering, navigation and hotel services were converted to civilian specifications.
March 24, AGF 11 arrived at Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan. It will remain in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility throughout the length of Blue Ridge’s dry dock period, which is expected to last several months.
April 26, USS Coronado departed Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines, after a three-day port visit.
May 18, The U.S. 7th Fleet command ship AGF 11 and USS Cowpens (CG 63) completed an historic port visit to Shimoda, Japan, May 14-16 to commemorate the 65th Shimoda Black Ship Festival. Sailors from both ships took part in a host of activities, including concerts, parades and fireworks, marking the 150th anniversary of the opening of Shimoda port by the U.S. naval fleet led by Commodore Matthew Perry.
August 6, Vice Adm. Robert F. Willard transferred command of U.S. 7th Fleet to Vice Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert during a change of command ceremony held aboard the Coronado in Naval Station Yokosuka.
November 3, The command ship AGF 11 returned to its San Diego homeport following a seven-month deployment to the western Pacific.
September 30, 2006 USS Coronado was decommissioned.
September 12, 2012 The ex-USS Coronado was sunk during the exercise Valiant Shield, at about 3:20 p.m. local time, 102 nautical miles south of Guam.