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USS Long Beach
USS Long Beach
Career (US)
Name: Long Beach
Namesake: Long Beach, California
Ordered: 15 October 1956
Builder: Bethlehem Steel Co., Fore River Shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts
Laid down: 2 December 1957
Launched: 14 July 1959
Acquired: 1 September 1961
Commissioned: 9 September 1961
Decommissioned: 1 May 1995
(deactivated 2 July 1994)
Reclassified: as CGN-9 1 July 1958
Struck: 1 May 1995
Fate: Stricken, to be disposed of by recycling, 1 May 1995
General characteristics
Displacement: 15,540 tons
Length: 721 ft 3 in (219.84 m)
Beam: 71 ft 6 in (21.79 m)
Draft: 30 ft 7 in (9.32 m)
Propulsion: 2 C1W nuclear reactors; 2 General Electric turbines; 80,000 shp; 2 propellers
Speed: 30 knots (56 km/h)
Range: Nuclear
Complement: 1160 officers and men
Sensors and
processing systems:
1 AN/SPS-10 surface search radar[1]
AN/SPS-12 search radar[1]
AN/SPS-32 bearing and range radar[1]
AN/SPS-33 target tracking radar[1]
AN/SPS-48 3D air search radar
AN/SPS-49 2D air search radar
2 AN/SPG-49 Talos fire control radar[1][2]
4 AN/SPG-55 Terrier fire control radar[1][2]
AN/SQS-23 SONAR[1]
Electronic warfare
and decoys:
AN/SLQ-32
Armament: 2 twin Terrier guided missile launchers
1 twin Talos guided missile launcher
1 8-tube ASROC launcher
2 × 5 in/38 (2 × 1)
2 × 12.75 in torpedo tubes (2 × 2)
Harpoon missile
BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missile ABL
Aircraft carried: None; landing pad for one helicopter
Motto: "Strike Hard, Strike Home"

USS Long Beach (CLGN-160/CGN-160/CGN-9) was a nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser in the United States Navy. She was the only ship of her class.

Long Beach was the first "all-new" cruiser designed and constructed after World War II (all others were completions or conversions of cruisers begun or completed during the war). She was the third Navy ship named after the city of Long Beach, California, and the last ship built on a traditional "cruiser hull" in the US Navy; all subsequent cruisers were built on scaled-up destroyer hulls. This led to the slogan she carried in her later years: "The Only Real Cruiser."

Contents

Configuration

The ship was designed as an "all-missile" ship from the very beginning, but was fitted with two 5"/38 caliber gun mounts amidships at President John F. Kennedy's order. Long Beach was also the last cruiser built on a traditional long, lean cruiser hull; later new-build cruisers were actually converted frigates (DLG/CG USS Leahy (DLG-16), USS Bainbridge (DLGN-25), USS Belknap (DLG-26), USS Truxtun (DLGN-35), and the California and Virginia classes) or uprated destroyers (the DDG/CG Ticonderoga class was built on a Spruance class destroyer hull). The Long Beach was first laid out to be a smaller frigate, but expanded to a cruiser hull due to the ship being slated for the Regulus nuclear cruise missile or, later, 4 launching tubes for the Polaris missile, which would occupy the space taken up by the 5"/38 caliber gun mounts and the ASROC system. The open space just aft of the bridge 'Box' was to be the area for these.

The ship was propelled by two nuclear reactors, one for each propeller shaft, and was capable of speeds in excess of 30 knots (56 km/h). The high box-like superstructure contained the SCANFAR system, consisting of the AN/SPS-32 and AN/SPS-33 phased array radars. One of the reasons Long Beach was a one-ship class was because it was an experimental platform for these radars, which were precursors to the AN/SPY-1 phased array systems later installed on Aegis warships (Ticonderoga-class cruisers and Arleigh Burke-class destroyers). At the time, Long Beach had the highest bridge of any ship smaller than an aircraft carrier.

Weapons suite

The original weapons suite consisted of:

  • Talos Long Range Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAM) with a range in excess of 80 nmi (150 km).
  • Terrier Medium Range SAMs with a range in excess of 30 miles (48 km).
  • ASROC system capable of delivering a torpedo or depth charge at a range of 10,000 yd (9.1 km).
  • Two twin 12.75 inch torpedo launchers that could fire the Mark 46 torpedo.
  • Two 5"/38 caliber gun, capable of surface and shore bombardment to a range of 18,000 yd (16 km).

The ship went through several modifications by the time she was decommissioned. The final weapons suite consisted of:

  • Two forward launchers for the Standard extended range missiles. These replaced the Terrier and the Talos.
  • The rear launcher for the Talos was replaced with 2 BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missile box launchers. Each launcher held 4 missiles.
  • Two Phalanx CIWS were added aft of aft mast.
  • Two RGM-84 Harpoon ship-to-ship missile launchers were added. Each launcher held 4 Harpoons.

History

Long Beach was originally ordered as CLGN-160. She was reclassified CGN-160 in early 1957, but was again reclassified as CGN-9 on 1 July 1957. Her keel was laid down on 2 December 1957 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Fore River Shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts. She was launched 14 July 1959, sponsored by the wife of Craig Hosmer, Congressman from California. She was commissioned on 9 September 1961, with Captain Eugene P. Wilkinson in command.

Long Beach served in the Atlantic Fleet from her commissioning in 1961 until completing her first refueling in early 1966, when the cruiser was transferred from the homeport of Norfolk, Virginia to Long Beach, California.

Operation "Sea Orbit" — USS Bainbridge, Long Beach, and Enterprise.

In May 1964, Long Beach joined the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-65) and the guided missile frigate USS Bainbridge (DLGN-25) to form the all-nuclear-powered Task Force 1. At the end of July, the three warships began Operation Sea Orbit, a two-month unrefueled cruise around the world. It was the first all-nuclear battle formation in the history of naval operations.

In October 1966, the Long Beach deployed for the first of a number of cruises to the Western Pacific. During this initial cruise, the cruiser served primarily as the Positive Identification Radar Advisory Zone (PIRAZ) unit in the northern Gulf of Tonkin. As such, her main responsibility was to "sanitize" returning US air strikes, ensuring that no enemy aircraft were attempting to evade identification by hiding amongst returning friendlies. Additionally, the ship provided support for an on-board Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopter unit. During this tour, the Long Beach was responsible for directing the downing of one Soviet-made An-2 'Colt' aircraft that was attempting to engage South Vietnamese naval units. The shoot-down was executed by an F-4 Phantom II fighter under the control of a Long Beach Air Intercept Controller (AIC). The cruiser returned to Long Beach, California, in July of 1967, and was redeployed to the Gulf of Tonkin in 1968, shooting down two MiG fighter planes with her RIM-8 Talos missiles.

After Vietnam the Long Beach performed routine duties in the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean, although in 1975 she served escort duties for an ad-hoc US task force during the Mayagüez incident. In 1980 the vessel rescued 114 Vietnamese boat people off the coast of Vietnam. In 1979, and again from 1980 to 1983, the Long Beach returned to Puget Sound to undergo a mid-life conversion, during which time she was fitted with BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles. The Long Beach deployed throughout the 1980s and provided support during the Gulf War of 1991.

A deactivation ceremony occurred on 2 July 1994 at Norfolk Naval Station. The Long Beach was decommissioned on 1 May 1995, over 33 years after she had entered service. Presently, she is waiting in line to be recycled as prescribed for nuclear powered vessels by Code 350 of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, WA.

Milestones

Long Beach c.1989.
  • 2 December 1957 — Keel laid in Bethlehem Steel Company's Fore River Shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts.
  • 14 July 1959 — launching; Mrs. Craig Hosmer christened the ship as her sponsor.
  • 5 July 1961 — USS Long Beach underway for the first time using her own nuclear power.
  • 9 September 1961 — USS Long Beach is commissioned as the first nuclear powered surface vessel at the Boston Naval Shipyard.
  • 2 October 1961 — Change of Home port to Norfolk, Virginia.
  • 1 August 1963 — 1st deployment to the Mediterranean
  • 28 April 1964 — 2nd deployment to the Mediterranean for "Nuclear Task Force One".
  • 15 March 1966 — USS Long Beach and City of Long Beach, California unite for first time.
  • 7 November 1966 — 1st West Pac deployment.
  • 1 May 1967 — Deployed to Gulf of Tonkin.
  • 15 April 1968 — 2nd West Pac deployment.
  • 11 August 1969 — 3rd West Pac deployment.
  • 1 July 1970 — USS Long Beach begins refueling at Mare Island Naval Shipyard.
  • 28 March 1972 — 4th West Pac deployment.
  • 1 May 1973 — 5th West Pac deployment.
  • 7 November 1974 — 6th West Pac deployment.
  • 7 June 1975 — Change of homeport to San Diego, California.
  • 15 September 1976 — 7th West Pac deployment.
  • 4 April 1978 — 8th West Pac deployment.
  • 7 January 1980 — 9th West Pac deployment.
  • 1 January 1981 — Begins Comprehensive Overhaul Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.
  • 13 January 1984 — 10th West Pac deployment.
  • 9 January 1985 — Selected Restricted Availability at Bremerton, Washington.
  • 13 May 1986 — 11th West Pac deployment.
  • 25 July 1987 — 12th West Pac deployment.
  • 19 October 1987 — Participated in Kuwaiti tanker reflagging and provided anti-aircraft cover during Operation Nimble Archer.
  • 13 October 1988 — North Atlantic Treaty Organization Ship Visit.
  • 18 September 1989 — 13th West Pac deployment/world cruise.
  • 28 May 1991 — 14th West Pac deployment in support of Operation Desert Storm.
  • 8 April 1992 — Comprehensive overhaul, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.
  • 12 May 1993 — Underway Counter Narcotics Patrol, Central America.
  • 8 November 1993 — Underway Counter Narcotics Patrol, Caribbean.
  • 6 May 1994 — Change of homeport to Norfolk, Virginia.
  • 2 July 1994 — Deactivation ceremony, Norfolk Naval Station.

Commanders

  • 9 September 1961 – 11 September 1962: Captain Eugene P. Wilkinson
  • 11 September 1962 – 23 August 1966: Captain F. H. Price
  • 23 August 1966 – 15 June 1968: Captain K. C. Wallace
  • 15 June 1968 – 25 September 1972: Captain William A. Spencer
  • 25 September 1972 – 24 October 1975: Captain F. R. Fahland
  • 24 October 1975 – 18 July 1978: Captain Harry C. Schrader
  • 18 July 1978 – February 1982: Captain E. B. Bossard
  • February 1982 – 1985: Captain F. Triggs
  • February 1985 – September 1987: Captain M. J. Weniger
  • September 1987 – November 1990: Captain J. C. Pollock, III
  • November 1990 – April 1993: Captain W. R. Burns, Jr.
  • April 1993 – July 1994: Captain K. P. Bersticker

Awards

Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
  • 1 September 1987 – 2 September 1987
  • 20 September 1987 – 26 September 1987
  • 29 September 1987 – 28 October 1987
  • 30 October 1987 – 29 November 1987
  • 17 January 1990 – 31 January 1990
Combat Action Ribbon
Combat Action Ribbon
  • 26 April 1972
Humanitarian Service Medal
  • 29 April 1980
  • 1 May 1980
Joint Meritorious Unit Award * 16 October 1990 – 18 November 1990
  • 10 June 1991 – 28 June 1991
Meritorious Unit Commendation * 19 November 1966 – 8 June 1967
  • 10 April 1972 – 30 November 1972
Battle Efficiency Award
  • 1 July 1977 – 31 December 1978
  • 1 January 1985 – 30 June 1986
  • 1 July 1986 – 31 December 1987
  • 1 January 1988 – 30 June 1989
  • 1 January 1991 – 31 December 1992
  • 1 January 1993 – 31 December 1993
Navy Unit Commendation
Navy Unit Commendation
  • 7 May 1968 – 20 October 1968
  • 10 April 1972 - 30 November 1972
Coast Guard Special Operations Service Ribbon
Special Operations Service Ribbon
  • 15 November 1993
Southwest Asia Service Medal
  • 6 July 1991 – 12 October 1991
Vietnam Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal ribbon
  • 29 November 1966 – 6 January 1967
  • 1 February 1967 – 1 March 1967
  • 12 March 1967 – 7 April 1967
  • 5 May 1967 – 13 June 1967
  • 4 May 1968 – 11 June 1968
  • 21 June 1968 – 11 July 1968
  • 13 July 1968 – 7 August 1968
  • 12 September 1968 – 23 October 1968
  • 3 September 1969 – 11 October 1969
  • 26 October 1969 – 4 December 1969
  • 10 December 1969 – 12 December 1969
  • 20 December 1969 – 22 December 1969
  • 1 January 1970 – 25 January 1970
  • 13 April 1972 – 23 June 1972
  • 1 July 1972 – 31 July 1972
  • 8 August 1972 – 6 September 1972
  • 15 September 1972 – 16 October 1972
  • 25 October 1972 – 22 November 1972

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Blackman, Raymond V. B. Jane's Fighting Ships (1970/71) p.425
  2. ^ a b Polmar, Norman "The U.S. Navy: Shipboard Radars" United States Naval Institute Proceedings December 1978 p.144

External links

Coordinates: 47°33′16″N 122°38′26″W / 47.55444°N 122.64056°W / 47.55444; -122.64056

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