Sailors cross the brow during a hull swap ceremony between USS Cowpens and USS Antietam  
130205-N-TX154-417 YOKOSUKA, Japan (Feb. 5, 2013) - Sailors cross the brow during a hull swap ceremony between the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers USS Cowpens (CG 63) and USS Antietam (CG 54). Hull swaps, or ship rotations, are part of the Navy’s long-term plan to routinely replace older ships with newer more capable ships. Antietam is relieving Cowpens at Fleet Activities Yokosuka. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Paul Kelly/Released)
USS Antietam and USS Cowpens to complete Hull Swap 
YOKOSUKA, Japan — USS Antietam (CG 54) the U.S. Navy’s most capable Ticonderoga Class Guided Missile Cruiser is expected to complete a hull swap with USS Cowpens (CG 63) on 5 February 2013, in the latest upgrade to the capabilities of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces operating out of Yokosuka with the U.S. 7th Fleet.

The crew of USS Cowpens, which has been forward deployed to Japan since June of 2000, will relinquish command of Cowpens and take command of Antietam. The San Diego crew of Antietam will take command of Cowpens. A small number of the Antietam crew will remain with the ship due to the new systems that were installed during its recent mid-life guided missile cruiser modernization in San Diego.

USS Antietam’s joining of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces is part of the Navy’s long range plan to rotate newer and more capable units forward. Increasing capabilities of the FDNF supports the United States’ commitment to the defense of Japan and the security and stability of the Asia-Pacific region.

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