CG 73
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The Port Royal (CG 73), the 27th and the last Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser, was the second U.S. Navy warship named to commemorate battles of the American Revolution and the Civil War in the waters of Port Royal Sound and on the adjacent South Carolina sea islands. She was also the first cruiser to integrate women into the crew, a process which was accomplished smoothly with great success.

The life of USS Port Royal as an Aegis cruiser began at Ingalls Shipbuilding division of Litton Industries in Pascagoula, MS., with the start of fabrication work on November 9, 1990. Her keel was laid on October 18, 1991. She was launched on November 20, 1992, and was christened on December 5, 1992, by Mrs. Susan G. Baker, wife of then Chief of Staff and Senior Counselor to the President, James A. Baker III. On December 6, 1993, the cruiser sailed into the Gulf of Mexico for her first predelivery sea trials. The ship was delivered to the U.S. Navy by Ingalls on April 25, 1994, in preparation for formal commissioning ceremonies on July 9, 1994, in Savannah, Ga.

The Port Royal was one of the first two US Navy ships to receive TBMD system modifications and SM2 Block IV-A missiles, as part of the US Navy Theater Ballistic Missile Defense (TBMD). It was scheduled to conduct at-sea testing, develop core doctrine and tactics, and serve as focal points for developing the very latest theater ballistic defense technology. USS Port Royal, along with the USS Lake Erie, has served as an operational unit for the development of doctrine and training, in addition to performance validation of the Navy Area TBMD Program.

USS Port Royal deployed in March 1996 as part of a USS Nimitz Battle Group to the waters near Taiwan. The Nimitz BG was the second carrier task force deployed to the area where tension were building over Chinese military exercises and missile tests just off Taiwan.

In 1997, CG 73 conducted surface and air defense operations for the USS Nimitz BG, as it was operating in the Persian Gulf in support of the U.S. and coalition enforcement of the no-fly-zone over southern Iraq.

USS Port Royal underwent successful Linebacker sea trials at the Pacific Missile Range, Kauai, Hawaii, in the fall of 1998. She was next scheduled to participate in at-sea TBM target tracking events that same fall.

The guided missile cruiser took part in the Northern Edge '99 Exercise. During Northern Edge '99, the Navy's Modeling and Simulation Center and the Army's Space and Missile Defense Battle Lab ran simulations which assessed the effectiveness of planned defenses against the missile threat. The ship was connected to the TMD cell and shared warning information.

USS Port Royal departed on her second deployment in January 2000 as part of the USS John C. Stennis Carrier Battle Group to the western Pacific and Arabian Gulf. She returned in June after supporting Operation Southern Watch and Maritime Interception Operations in the Arabian Gulf. She enjoyed an historic port visit to Durban, South Africa, the first U.S. Navy ship to visit in over 25 years. While in Durban, more thant 10,000 visitors toured the ship. The ships made port calls in Hong Kong, Dubai, Cape Town South Africa, Mauritius, and Darwin, Australia.

CG 73 entered the dry dock on August 18. Repair of voyage casualties to the port hub and sonar dome were the hottest items for the dry dock period. Also accomplished during the dry-docking were numerous combat systems and quality of life upgrades. The cruiser departed Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard Dry Dock One on the evening of October 24, before conducting sea trials during a two-day underway at the end of the month. It was afterward scheduled to make a shakedown cruise to Tahiti, French Polynesia in November.

The guided missile cruiser conducted a Naval Surface Fire Support (NSFS) FIREX I exercise off the southeast coast of San Clemente Island on the morning of May 9, 2001. The first series of missions were spotter service exercises which were primarily conducted to train new Marine Corps spotters. Upon completion of the spotter services, the FIREX I began. The ship's forward gun mount (MT51) fired 72 rounds before a gun-loading casualty rendered it inoperative. The following day, the aft gun mount (MT52) suffered a minor casualty to the lower hoist assembly. CG 73 nevertheless executed the remaining five missions of the FIREX I which included a coordinated illumination mission.

November 17, 2001 USS Port Royal departed Pearl Harbor two months before her scheduled deployment date, with the USS John C. Stennis Battle Group, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in the Arabian Gulf. She returned home May 21, 2002.

The guided missile cruiser was assigned to participate in Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise in late June 2002. After completing a successful deployment with the Stennis Battle Group, the chance for the "extra" World Series of RIMPAC represented a tremendous opportunity to get a huge head start on the IDTC. The cruiser kicked off RIMPAC 2002 on June 26 by embarking Commander, Cruiser-Destroyer Group Five (CCDG-5) and his battle staff as the multi-national forces (MNF) commander. In addition to conducting flagship duties, it also served as the Sea Combat Commander (SCC) for the multi-national forces. The cruiser returned to Pearl Harbor July 18.

CG 73 sailed from Pearl Harbor to Lahaina, Maui, in early August for its Family and Friend’s Cruise 2002.

September 15, The Aegis-class cruiser is currently conducting a two-month shipyard repair period and making preparations for the training cycle that will prepare her for the next deployment.

September 3, 2003 USS Port Royal, commanded by Capt. Pat Allen, departed Naval Station Pearl Harbor for a scheduled deployment, with the USS Peleliu Expeditionary Strike Group One (ESG 1), in support of the Global War on Terrorism. An ESG constitutes a new naval strike force designed to equip amphibious forces with added firepower and operational capabilities.

January 2, 2004 Fifteen individuals were detained and an estimated 2,800 pounds of hashish, stored in 50 to 100 pound bags, (approximately $11 million street value) were seized by Boarding teams from CG 73 and the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) assigned to Expeditionary Strike Group One (ESG 1), following the interception of a dhow Jan. 1 in the North Arabian Sea.

March 11, USS Port Royal returned to homeport following a six-and-a-half month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Maritime Interception Operations (MIO) in the Persian Gulf. In addition to a variety of security cooperation exercises with countries in the U.S. Central Command/5th Fleet area of responsibility, Port Royal Participated in Exercise Sea Saber, the fifth in a series of multi-national exercises based on the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI).

June 9, 2005 Military ships from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and Canadian navy anchored in Gov. Tom McCall Park in downtown Portland, Ore., as part of Fleet Week for the city's annual celebration of Rose Festival. Navy ships including USS McClusky (FFG 41), USS Port Royal and USS Decatur (DDG 73) spent three days in Portland, giving tours to thousands of locals and contributing to the community.

February 27, 2006 USS Port Royal, commanded by Capt. David Matawitz, departed Pearl Harbor for a six-month western Pacific deployment, with the USS Peleliu ESG-3, in support of the Global War on Terrorism.

March 15, The guided missile cruiser pulled to Sydney, Australia, for a scheduled port visit.

July 9, Six ships and nearly 5,000 Sailors and Marines assigned to the USS Peleliu Expeditionary Strike Group concluded operations in the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet area of operations.

July 20, The Port Royal is currently in Singapore for a scheduled port call.

August 5, CG 73 returned to Naval Station Pearl Harbor after completing the six-month deployment.

September 17, 2007 USS Port Royal is currently conducting a Composite Unit Training Exercise (COMPUTEX), with the USS Tarawa Expeditionary Strike Group, off the coast of southern California.

November 12, USS Port Royal departed Pearl Harbor for a six-month deployment in support of the global war on terrorism.

November 25, ESG ships arrived in Guam for a routine port call.

December 12, CG 73 departed Dili, Timor-Leste, after a scheduled port visit.

December 20, USS Port Royal departed Jakarta, Indonesia, after a four-day port call.

January 15, 2008 The Port Royal departed Manama, Bahrain, after an eight-day visit.

March 10, The guided-missile cruiser recently departed Manama, Bahrain, after a routine port call.

April 3, CG 73 pulled to Phuket, Thailand, for a scheduled port visit.

April 14, The Port Royal arrived for a goodwill port call to western Pacifc island of Palau.

May 2, USS Port Royal returned to Naval Station Pearl Harbor after a scheduled deployment in the western Pacific and Persian Gulf, as part of USS Tarawa (LHA 1) ESG.

October 23, Capt. John Carroll relieved Capt. David B. Adler as commanding officer of the Port Royal, during a change of command ceremony at Pearl Harbor.

February 5, 2009 USS Port Royal ran aground at about 9 p.m. local time, about a mile and a half from the entrance to Pearl Harbor.

February 8, The tugboats and salvage ship USNS Salvor (T-ARS 52) tried to tow the Port Royal early Saturday, but the ship remained stuck. The guided-missile cruiser had just ended a four-month routine maintenance visit to Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and was finishing the first day of sea trials when it ran aground while unloading members of Afloat Training Group Mid-Pacific, who planned to take a small boat to Hickam Harbor.

February 9, USS Port Royal was pulled early today off the coral reef after the ship was lightened by 600 tons and the high Pacific tide came in. The ship will go into a dry dock next week.

February 10, Capt. John Carroll was fired on Monday just hours after the cruiser pulled free off the Hawaii coast. Capt. John Lauer III, with Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, is the Port Royal’s new commanding officer. The ship is currently moored at Pearl Harbor’s Berth M3 as Navy divers ran a remotely operated vehicle underneath it looking for additional damage. She sheared off blades on both its screws, damaged its bow sonar dome and left its anchors, anchor chains and other debris on the ocean floor.

September 24, CG 73 departed dry dock at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard after more than seven months of repairs.

August 3, 2010 USS Port Royal arrived in Seattle to participate in the 61st annual Seattle Seafair Fleet Week.

December 9, The Port Royal is currently in dry-dock at Pearl Harbor because of the cracks in the superstructure, including an eight-crack on the 06 level, discovered in September while the guided-missile cruiser was operating in the Pacific Northwest. So far, the Navy has awarded $14 million to BAE Systems to fix the ship. The work, which is expected to be finished in February, include repairs to the bulkheads and deck around two gas turbine intakes; fuel oil storage tank top repairs; superstructure crack repairs; and removal and replacement of aluminum decking and plating.

March 17, 2011 Capt. Eric F. Weilenman relieved Capt. John T. Lauer, III as CO of the USS Port Royal during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the ship at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

June 24, USS Port Royal departed homeport for a scheduled independent deployment in the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet Areas of Responsibility (AoR).

September 16, The Port Royal departed Jebel Ali, U.A.E., after a four-day port call.

October 17, CG 73 recently pulled into Mina Zayed port for a visit to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

December 15, USS Port Royal recently pulled into Khalifa Bin Salman Port at Hidd for a scheduled visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain.

February 13, 2012 USS Port Royal returned to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam after nearly an eight-month deployment. She was the final ship to assume command of Commander, Task Group Iraqi Maritime (CTG-IM), responsible for providing protection for the Al Basrah (ABOT) and Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminal (KAAOT).

March 30, The guided-missile cruiser is currently participating in integrated training exercise "Koa Kai 12-2", off the coast of Hawaii.

July 11, The Port Royal departed Pearl Harbor to participate in a multi-national exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012.

August 9, USS Port Royal participated in a trilateral exercise with ships from the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) and the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy, off the coast of Hawaii, from Aug. 7-8.

February 11, 2013 USS Port Royal, along with USS Chafee (DDG 90), departed Pearl Harbor to participate in a theater anti-submarine warfare (TASW) phase of the Submarine Commander’s Course (SCC) and a task group exercise (TGEX) with the Royal Canadian Navy ships HMCS Algounquin (DDG 283) and HMCS Ottawa (FFH 341), off the coast of Oahu, from Feb. 11-17.

January 25, 2014 USS Port Royal, along with USS O'Kane (DDG 77), USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93), USS Halsey (DDG 97), USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112), USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), USS Chosin (CG 65), USS Lake Erie (CG 70), USS Cape St. George (CG 71) and HMCS Protecteur (AOR 509), departed Pearl Harbor to participate in a week-long integrated maritime exercise Koa Kai 14-1, in the Hawaiian Op. Area.

July 9, CG 73 departed Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to participate in a multinational exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2014.

August 22, BAE Systems Hawaii was awarded a not-to-exceed $16,6 million undefinitized contract action to a previously awarded contract (N00024-12-C-4405) for the USS Port Royal's Drydocking Continuous Maintenance Availability (DCMA). Work is expected to be completed by March 2015.

October 31, Capt. Adolfo H. Ibarra relieved Capt. Eric F. Weilenman as the 12th CO of Port Royal during a change-of-command ceremony on aboard the ship at Pearl Harbor.

February 10, 2015 USS Port Royal moved from Dry Dock #4 to a pierside location at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.

May 18, The Port Royal departed homeport in support of amphibious exercise Culebra Koa, off the coast of Oahu, with the USS Essex (LHD 2) ARG.

August 12, USS Port Royal is currently underway for deck landing qualifications with the U.S. Army's UH-60M Black Hawks, assigned to 2-25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) off the coast of Oahu; Underway for local operations from Sept. 2?-28.

October 16, The guided-missile cruiser is currently moored at Pier B17 on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

January 22, 2016 USS Port Royal moored at Naval Base San Diego, California; Underway for local operations from Jan. 26-27; Moved to Berth 1, Pier 8 on Feb. 1; Underway again from Feb. 5-12; Commenced Continuous Maintenance Availability (CMAV) in late February; Moved to Berth 5, Pier 8 in early March.

April 1, The Port Royal moored at Bravo Pier, Naval Air Station North Island for a brief stop to onload ammunition; Departed San Diego for Independent Deployer Certification Exercise (IDCERTEX) on April 2.

April 15, CG 73 moored at Deperming Pier on Naval Base Point Loma for a 10-day magnetic treatment (DEPERM) after conducted degaussing runs off NB Point Loma.

April 25, USS Port Royal moored at Wharf 3 in Port Hueneme, Calif., for a nine-day port call to conduct combat systems groom with the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC); Moored at Bravo Pier, NAS North Island for a brief stop on May 6.

May 12, The Port Royal recently moored at Wharf B25 on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam after four-month of operations in the SOCAL Op. Area; Moored at Pier B15 on May 2?.

August 25, USS Port Royal, with an embarked Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 37 detachment, departed Pearl Harbor for a scheduled deployment as part of the Surface Action Group (SAG).

September 25, The Port Royal departed Sembawang Terminal, Singapore, after a brief port call; Moored at Changi Naval Base in support of a multinational exercise Deep Sabre from Sept. 27-30.?

October 16, USS Port Royal recently entered the Red Sea after transiting Bab el-Mandeb Strait northbound.

November 29, The Port Royal transited the Bab el-Mandeb Strait northbound, escorting the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) and USS San Jacinto (CG 56).

December 25, The guided-missile cruiser is currently underway in the Gulf of Aden conducting Maritime Interception Operations (MIO).

January 1?, 2017 USS Port Royal participated in a photo exercise (PHOTOEX), with the USS Mahan (DDG 72), HMS Ocean (L 12) and FS Forbin (D620), while underway in the Arabian Gulf; Transited the Strait of Singapore eastbound on Jan. 27.

February 2, The Port Royal moored at Port of Laem Chabang, Thailand, for a liberty visit to Pattaya.

February 24, Capt. Christopher J. Budde relieved Capt. Adolfo H. Ibarra as the 13th CO of Port Royal, during a change-of-command ceremony on board the ship, while underway in the South China Sea.

March 24, USS Port Royal moored at Pier M3 on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam following an extended seven-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet AoR.

April 25, The Port Royal moved from Pier M3 to Pier B18 on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

June 23, CG 73 moored at Pier M3 after an 11-day underway for routine training in the Hawaiian Op. Area; Moved to Pier B15 on July 13.

August 10, USS Port Royal moored at Pier H3 on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam after a three-day underway for routine training; Underway again on Aug. 11.

August 14, BAE Systems Hawaii was awarded a $24 million modification to a previously awarded contract (N00024-14-C-4412) for the USS Port Royal's Selected Restricted Availability (SRA). Work is expected to be completed by February 2018.

August 18, The guided-missile cruiser moored at Pier M3 on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam; Moored at Wharf W4, Naval Magazine Lualualei for ammo offload on Aug. 21; Moored at Wharf B20 on Aug. 25.