USS THOMAS S. GATES CG 51
The contract to build the CG 51 was awarded to Bath Iron Works on May 20, 1982 and its keel was laid on August 31, 1984. On December 14, 1985 the guided-missile cruiser was launched and it was commissioned on August 22, 1987.
USS Thomas S. Gates was scheduled to become, in fall 1998, the first installation ship in the U.S. Navy's Integrated Ship Controls (ISC) Program. This upgrade program aimed to install innovative labor and cost savings initiatives on Gates, USS Ticonderoga (CG 47), USS Vincennes (CG 49) and USS Valley Forge (CG 50). Many of the technologies installed are the result of the initiatives proven sucessful on Yorktown (CG 48). The upgrade program also included options to install systems on the remaining 22nd AEGIS-class cruisers.
USS Thomas S. Gates deployed in late July 2000 to serve as the flagship for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Standing Naval Forces Atlantic (SNFL). The ship hosted an international professional naval staff made up of officers from Germany, Poland, Spain, Norway, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Canada. If needed, SNFL is prepared to deploy to crisis areas in support of NATO objectives. As STANAVFORLANT, the ship's first exercise was DANEX 2000. Port visited during this deployment were Oslo, Norway; Helsinki, Finland; Copenhagen, Denmark; Gdynia, Poland; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Leithe, Scotland; Plymouth, England; Brest, France; and Santander, Spain.
March 10, 2004 USS Thomas S. Gates departed Naval Station Pascagoula, Miss., for a scheduled deployment that will cover a variety of missions, including a circumnavigation of the South American continent.
August 2, USS Thomas S. Gates returned to homeport following a five-month deployment. She conducted counter-drug operations, escorted the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) to its new homeport of San Diego, Calif., participated in international exercises with South American navy ships and also made port calls to New London, Connecticut; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Annapolis, Maryland; Punta del Este, Uruguay; Valparaiso, Chile; and Peru.
October 2, Cmdr. Joseph J. Leonard relieved Cmdr. Richard A. Rainer, Jr., as the 11th and last commanding officer of
April 25, 2005 USS Thomas S. Gates pulled into Port Everglades, Fla., fdor a six-day port visit to participate in annual Fleet Week USA festivities and the Air and Sea Show held in Fort Lauderdale.
June 10, USS Thomas S. Gates emergency sortied from Naval Station Pascagoula to evade the approaching Tropical Storm Arlene.
July 24, CG 51 recently arrived in Cartagena, Colombia, for a scheduled port visit after participated in the Atlantic phase of a multinational exercise UNITAS 46-05.
August 5, The Thomas S. Gates moored at Vasco Nunez de Balboa Naval Base for a four-day port visit to Panama City, Panama, before participating in exercise PANAMAX 2005 in the Pacific Ocean, along with the USS Bataan (LHD 5), USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58), USS Devastator (MCM 6), USS Scout (MCM 8) and HSV Swift (HSV 2); Transited the Panama Canal northbound on Aug. 16.
December 16, USS Thomas S. Gates was officialy deccommisioned and stricken from the U.S. Naval Vessel Register. She will be towed to Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Office Philadelphia where a final decision on the eventual disposition of the ship will be made.
June 30, 2017 The ex-USS Thomas S. Gates arrived in Southern Recycling facility in New Orleans, La., under tow by tug Ocean Tower, after a 15-day transit from Philadelphia, Pa.