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USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) decommissions after over three decades of service

Photo: US Navy

The US Navy decommissioned guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) on Thursday, marking the end of the ship‘s three decades years of service.

On August 10, Naval Base San Diego hosted the ceremony commemorating 36 years of naval service by the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser.

Constructed by Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi, Mobile Bay was commissioned on February 21, 1987, at Alabama State Docks in Mobile, Alabama.

Throughout its service history, the ship played a vital role in various operations, including evacuating the US Embassy in Beirut in 1989, launching Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles during Operation Desert Storm, aiding in the evacuation of people after the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in 1991, participating in a major cocaine seizure with the US Coast Guard in 2003, and contributing to Operation Iraqi Freedom with Tomahawk missile launches.

Mobile Bay is set to join the ranks of the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers being retired by the US Navy, as the older Cold War-era vessels make way for the more modern Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.

The ship’s sponsor was Kathryn Jane Maury, married to US Sen. Jeremiah Denton, a Vietnam War veteran who was awarded the Navy Cross for his heroism while a prisoner of war. USS Jeremiah Denton (DDG 129), a Flight III Arleigh-Burke class destroyer is named for him.

Being the inaugural vessel to bear the name, the ship commemorated and paid tribute to the Battle of Mobile Bay in August 1864, a renowned naval engagement during the American Civil War involving Union forces.

“The sailors of USS Mobile Bay demonstrated time and time again the resolve and readiness the Surface Force provides around the clock in support of our nation’s interests,” said Vice Adm. Roy Kitchener, commander, of Naval Surface Forces.

“Everywhere this ship and crew deployed, Mobile Bay sailors served their nation well, and lived up to the valor enshrined in the Battle of Mobile Bay,” he added.

Mobile Bay will be inactivated and towed to the US Navy’s Inactive Ship’s facility in Bremerton, Washington where it will be in a Logistic Support Asset (LSA) status.