USS CLEVELAND LPD 7
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USS Cleveland (LPD 7) was commissioned April 21, 1967, at Norfolk, Virginia. She is the third ship to be named after the city of Cleveland, Ohio. The first was the Protected Cruiser (C 19) from 1903-1929 and the second a light Cruiser (CL 55) from 1942-1947.
After commissioning, it changed homeport to San Diego, California, to become a member of the Pacific Fleet Amphibious Forces. The ship has divided its time between operations in the eastern Pacific and extended deployments to the western Pacific.
LPD 7 first saw action during the Tet Offensive in 1967. After the Vietnam cease-fire in January 1973, USS Cleveland joined Task Force 78 in the mine-clearing effort of Haiphong Harbor and Operation End Sweep. She then began a series of seven western Pacific deployments between 1974 and 1985.
Assigned duties as Third Fleet flagship from January through November 1988, the amphibious transport dock once again demonstrated the flexibility and professionalism that have become her hallmark. USS Cleveland then briefly shifted focus to environmental protection when she deployed to Prince William Sound, Alaska, in support of oil spill cleanup efforts associated with the Exxon Valdez disaster.
The ship's next two deployments, in 1990 and 1991, were in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. In October 1992 and in March of 1993, she deployed on short notice to Central America in support of Law Enforcement Operations, where she was the first LPD to embark an SH-60B Seahawk helicopter. During the March 1993 deployment LPD 7 played a key role in what was the largest maritime cocaine seizure to date involving the motor vessel "Sea Chariot." These two deployments included four transits of the Panama Canal and steaming over 20,000 miles.
While deployed to the western Pacific in 1994, USS Cleveland participated in United Nations relief efforts in Rwanda and the relocation of the United States Liaison office from Mogadishu, Somalia to Nairobi, Kenya. Following the relocation efforts, she was ordered to steam into the North Arabian Gulf to assist in deterring Iraq's massing of troops on the Kuwaiti border as part of Operation Vigilant Warrior.
Her next inter-deployment cycle was highlighted by Exercise RIMPAC '96 off the coast of Hawaii, which included the first ever multilateral exercise involving U.S. and Russian forces in U.S. waters. The trip to Hawaii for the exercise culminated in a parade of ships for the 50th anniversary celebration to commemorate the end of the war in the Pacific. USS Cleveland returned to the North Arabian Gulf during her deployment in 1996/97, participating in coalition and bilateral exercises and achieving yet another milestone as the first Amphibious Warship to actively participate in Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO) in support of United Nations sanctions against Iraq.
In the summer of 1998, LPD 7 once again participated in the bi-annual RIMPAC exercise. It then began a sixteenth major deployment in December 1998, embarking elements of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Navy SEALS, and a detachment of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). During this deployment Cleveland stood off the Horn of Africa, inserting a military liaison team into Eritrea and remaining ready to conduct a non-combatant evacuation operation. The amphibious transport dock then returned to the Arabian Gulf to conduct MIO where she served as flagship for the commander of all MIO forces in the Gulf. During this period, an embarked UAV discovered an Iraqi surface-to-surface missile site that was threatening coalition forces. Aircraft from USS Enterprise subsequently destroyed this missile while the UAV transmitted live imagery back to the USS Cleveland.
USS Cleveland was once again called upon to perform outside her normal realm of operations while participating in recovery and salvage efforts of Alaska Airlines Flight 261 in February of 2000, receiving the Coast Guard Commendation Ribbon with Operational Distinguishing Device. Following a Fleet Week visit to San Francisco, she completed her training cycle and deployed for the seventeenth time in March 2001.
January 17, 2003 USS Cleveland departed San Diego, as part of Amphibious Task Force West (ATF-W), for a surge deployment in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
July 26, LPD 7 returned to homeport after more than six-month underway period in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
July 16, 2005 USS Cleveland, commanded by Capt. Michael B. Chase, departed Naval Station San Diego for a scheduled deployment, with the USS Tarawa ESG-1 and 13th MEU, in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
July 29, Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 1 conducted a successful anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercise with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) July 25-26 off the coast of Hawaii.
August 15, USS Cleveland pulled to Darwin, Australia, for training, liberty and a commemoration of the 60th anniversary of World War II's victory in the Pacific with their Australian allies. The strong alliance between Australia and the United States was galvanized the morning of Feb. 19, 1942, when Japanese bombers attacked Darwin Harbour, killing hundreds, including 91 Sailors from USS Peary (DD 226).
September 10, The amphibious transport dock entered the Mediterranean Sea to participate in the multinational exercise Bright Star 2005.
October 22, USS Cleveland loaded 37 pieces of Seabee equipment headed for Pakistan as part of the international effort to aid survivors of the devastating 7.6-magnitude earthquake that struck the region.
October 28, LPD 7 offloaded 280 tons of emergency earthquake relief supplies to Karachi, Pakistan, Oct. 27-28 to assist the victims of the devastating earthquake in Kashmir. Cleveland’s cargo included 37 pieces of heavy machinery provided by Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3, which is forward deployed to Bahrain. The construction supplies included light trucks, accessory trailers, light plants and generators. In addition to the heavy equipment, the ship delivered food supplies from the French Navy, and tents, cots and blankets from Egypt. Its visit was the third by a U.S. Navy warship delivering relief supplies in less than two weeks. USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) was the first Navy ship to respond to the crisis, offloading supplies Oct. 16 and 24 in Karachi.
January 21, 2006 The amphibious transoprt dock departed Singapore after a three-day port visit.
February 20, USS Cleveland returned to San Diego after completing a seven-month deployment in support of the global war on terrorism.
April 5, LPD 7 is currently off the coast of Vancouver, Canada, to test the new torpedo detection system. After successfully completing the testing evolution, the crew members enjoyed five-days of liberty in Victoria.
July 30, USS Cleveland, commanded by Capt. Frank R. McCulloch, responded to a distress call from an injured fisherman while en route to Seattle SeaFair. The amphibious transport dock is on its way to Seattle to participate in they city's SeaFair. As an annual fleet week celebrated for 56 years, SeaFair showcases Seattle's commitment to the military.
February 16, 2007 San Diego community leaders participated in the Navy's Leaders to Sea program Feb. 6-8, embarking aboard USS Cleveland. Leaders to Sea offers area business leaders an opportunity to experience firsthand the Navy in action. Those selected for the trip aboard Cleveland ranged from the captain of a San Diego-based cruise ship to the president of a real estate investment firm.
April 18, The Cleveland is currently underway conducting unit level training off the coast of southern California.
June 22, The amphibious transport dock departed for a daylong Friends and Family Day Cruise.
July 30, LPD 7 arrived in Everett, Wash., to participate in Sea Fair 2007.
September 10, USS Cleveland, commanded by Capt. Billy Hart, is currently conducting a Composite Unit Training Exercise (COMPUTEX), with the USS Tarawa ESG and the 11th MEU, off the coast of southern California.
November 5, USS Cleveland departed San Diego for a scheduled deployment, as part of the Tarawa ESG.
December 20, United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives, Robert Blake Jr., visited USS Cleveland Dec. 17, during a training exercise with the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF).
February 11, 2008 The amphibious transport dock is currently in the Persian Gulf conducting Maritime Security Operations.
April 1, LPD 7 completed a four-day Exercise Goalkeeper II in the Persian Gulf. Also participated USCGC Monomoy (WPB 1326), USNS Pathfinder (T-AGS 60), Bahraini frigate RBNS Sabha (FFG 90), RBNS Al Manama (FPBGH 50), the Canadian frigate HMCS Charlottetown (FFH 339) and Australian and U.S. maritime patrol aircraft.
June 3, USS Cleveland returned to homeport after a seven-month underway period.
July 1, 2009 The Cleveland is currently conducting its initial integration exercise with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit as part of the Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) Amphibious Ready Group.
September 18, USS Cleveland departed Naval Base San Diego for a scheduled deployment in the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Operations.
October 5, The amphibious transport dock pulled to Apra Harbor, Guam, for a routine port visit.
October 15, USS Cleveland and USS Rushmore (LSD 47) arrived in Java Sea to participate in Marine Exercise (MAREX) 2009 off the coast of Indonesia.
January 19, 2010 LPD 7 recently participated in a four-day multinational maritime infrastructure protection exercise STAKENET PLUS, with twenty-two ships from five nations, in the Arabian Gulf. The Cleveland is currently supporting maritime security operations in the Central Command AoR.
March 2, The Cleveland arrived in Phuket, Thailand, for a four-day port visit.
April 14, USS Cleveland returned to homeport after a seven-month deployment.
May 24, The amphibious transport dock is currently participating in a Navy/Marine Corps training exercise Dawn Blitz 2010, with the BHR ARG, off the coast of southern California.
June 24, LPD 7 arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to take part in 22nd Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC).
July 12, Capt. S. Robert Roth relieved Capt. Kevin J. Kouch as CO of the Cleveland during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the ship, off the coast of Hawaii.
October 1, After a successful ammunition offload in August at Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, Calif., USS Cleveland is currently undergoing a scheduled two-and-a-half month continuous maintenance availability (CMAV) period at Naval Base San Diego. The ship is receiving a host of critical upgrades, including refurbishing the entire flight deck with fresh non-skid and replacing vital equipment within the engineering spaces.
January 14, 2011 The amphibious transport dock departed San Diego to perform several burials at sea.
March 21, USS Cleveland departed Naval Base San Diego for its final deployment, in support of Pacific Partnership 2011.
April 5, LPD 7 departed Pearl Harbor after a routine port call.
April 13, The Cleveland anchored off the coast of Vava'u, Tonga, for its first port visit as part of PP.
April 28, USS Cleveland anchored off the coast of Luganville, Espiritu Santo, for a scheduled port visit to Vanuatu.
May 11, The amphibious transport dock pulled into Noumea, New Caledonia, for a port visit.
May 19, USS Cleveland anchored off the coast of Lae, Papua New Guinea, for the third phase of Pacific Partnership 2011.
June 7, LPD 7 pulled into Darwin, Australia, for a scheduled port call. The ship departed June 14 after a three-day delay due to minor mechanical issues with the boilers.
June 16, The Cleveland anchored off the coast of Dili, Timor-Leste, for the next phase of PP 2011.
July 3, USS Cleveland arrived in Federated States of Micronesia for the last Pacific Partnership mission. The ship will not be able to tie up to a pier or anchor in any harbor so will remain underway while visiting Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei and Yap that occupies over one million square miles in the Pacific Ocean.
July 21, The amphibious transport dock pulled into Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, for a six-day port call and to pick up Tigers.
August 4, USS Cleveland returned to San Diego after four-and-a-half month western Pacific deployment.
September 30, USS Cleveland (LPD 7) was decommissioned after more than 44 years of service in a ceremony at Naval Base San Diego. The ship will now transit to Hawaii, where it will be placed in an inactive reserve status.