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.; Plymouth, England.; Brest, France; Santander, Spain.
March 10, 2004 USS Thomas S. Gates departed Naval Station Pascagoula for a scheduled deployment that will cover a variety of missions, including a circumnavigation of the South American continent. Her deployment will include counter-drug operations, high-profile port visits along the eastern Atlantic seaboard; escorting the nation's newest carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), to her new homeport in San Diego; and international exercises with South American navy ships. Gates' eastern seaboard tour will include a visit to New London, Conn., home of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy; Philadelphia, Pa. and Annapolis, Md., home of the U.S. Naval Academy, where Gates will serve as the visiting ship for this year's graduation ceremony.
August 2, CG 51 returned to homeport after a successful five-month underway period.
May 1, 2005 USS Thomas S. Gates departed the South Florida region after participating in the 2005 Fleet Week USA festivities and the Air and Sea Show held in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., April 25-May 1.
June 10, USS Thomas S. Gates departed Naval Station Pascagoula, Miss., in order to evade approaching Tropical Storm Arlene.
August 1, UNITAS 46-05 Pacific Phase wrapped up July 24 in Cartagena, Colombia, after two weeks of training and maneuvers in the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean. CG 51 was part of a multinational naval and coast guard force from six nations.
August 17, FUERZAS ALIADAS PANAMAX 2005 ended in a closing ceremony in Panama City, Panama. U.S. Navy ships parcipating in PANAMAX, including the Thomas S. Gates, was USS Bataan (LHD 5), USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58), USS Devastator (MCM 6), USS Scout (MCM 8) and HSV Swift (HSV 2). They operated in the Caribbean and Pacific along with ships from Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Panama and Peru.
December 16, USS Thomas S. Gates was officialy deccommisioned.