The USS Port Royal (CG 73) is named to commemorate battles of both the American Revolution and the Civil War in the waters of Port Royal Sound and on the adjacent South Carolina islands. The battles were fought because Port Royal was of great strategic value.
Current USS Port Royal
USS Port Royal (CG 73) laid down 18 October 1991 by Ingalls Shipbuilding at Pascagoula, Mississippi, launched on 20 November 1992, christened on 5 December 1992 and commissioned on 9 July 1994 at Savannah, Georgia with Captain Nicholas L. Richards as the commanding officer.
USS Port Royal deployed in March 1996 as part of a USS Nimitz Battle Group.
In 1997 CG 73 conducted surface and air defense operations for the USS Nimitz BG as it operated 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 also participated in at-sea TBM target tracking events.
In 1999 the guided missile cruiser took part in the Northern Edge '99 Exercise.
USS Port Royal deployed 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.
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. In November USS Port Royal deployed (two months early) with the USS John C. Stennis Battle Group in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in the Arabian Gulf.
Port Royal returned to homeport from deployment on May 21, 2002. The guided missile cruiser participated embarked Commander, Cruiser-Destroyer Group Five (CCDG-5) and his battle staff as the multi-national forces (MNF) commander for Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise in late June 2002. In addition, Port Royal also served as the Sea Combat Commander (SCC) for the MNF. The cruiser returned to Pearl Harbor July 18.
In September 2003 USS Port Royal 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.
In January 2004 Boarding teams from CG 73 and the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) intercepted a dhow in the North Arabian Sea with the result that 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. In March 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. During the deployment Port Royal Participated in Exercise Sea Saber, the fifth in a series of multi-national exercises based on the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI).
In June 2005 USS Port Royal participated in the Portland Rose Festival.
In February 2006 USS Port Royal departed Pearl Harbor for a six-month western Pacific deployment with the USS Peleliu ESG-3 in support of the Global War on Terrorism. In August CG 73 returned to Naval Station Pearl Harbor after completing the six-month deployment in the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet area of operations.
In September 2007 USS Port Royal conducted a Composite Unit Training Exercise (COMPUTEX), with the USS Tarawa Expeditionary Strike Group. In November USS Port Royal departed Pearl Harbor for a six-month deployment in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
In May 2008 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.
In August 2010 USS Port Royal arrived in Seattle to participate in the 61st annual Seattle Seafair Fleet
In June 2011 USS Port Royal departed homeport for a scheduled independent deployment in the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet Areas of Responsibility (AoR).
In February 2012 USS Port Royal returned to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam after nearly an eight-month deployment. During he deployment Port Royal assumed 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). In March the guided-missile cruiser participated in the integrated training exercise "Koa Kai 12-2". In July Port Royal participated in the multi-national exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012. In August 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.
In February 2013 USS Port Royal 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).
1st USS Port Royal
The first ship of the fleet to bear the name “USS Port Royal” was a wooden 1163-ton "double-ender" side wheel steam gunboat, built in New York City. Commissioned in April 1862, she was soon sent to the Hampton Roads and James River areas, taking part in the battle at Sewell's Point on 8-9 May 1862 and at Fort Darling on 15 May 1862. In July and August of the same year she covered Union General McClellan’s army withdrawal from Harrison's Landing after the unsuccessful Peninsular Campaign. Port Royal’s next operations took place in the North Carolina Sounds. The gunboat was then assigned to the Gulf of Mexico blockade and participated in raids in Apalachicola, Florida during April and July 1863 and even captured a sloop in May 1863. In August 1864, Port Royal as a part of Admiral David Farragut’s fleet took part in the battle of Mobile Bay. After the battle she assisted in the bombardment and capture of Fort Morgan. The first USS Port Royal was decommissioned in May 1866 and sold in October of that year.
For a more detailed account of the first USS Port Royal see http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/p10/port_royal.htm.