USS PORT ROYAL (CG 73) is the second U.S. Navy warship 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.
Battles of Port Royal:
On February 3, 1779, 300 South Carolina militiamen under the command of Colonel William Moultrie repelled an attempted British amphibious attack on PORT ROYAL Island. On November 7, 1861 a combined Union Army-Navy expedition, under the command of Flag Officer Samuel du Pont, captured the island, which became the principal coaling and refitting base for the southern Blockade Squadron.
The First 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.
USS PORT ROYAL (CG-73)
The life of USS PORT ROYAL as an Aegis cruiser began at Ingalls Shipbuilding division of Litton Industries in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The start of fabrication work commenced on November 9, 1990 and her keel was laid on October 18, 1991. She was launched on November 20, 1992 and was christened on December 5, 1992 by Mrs. Susan G. Baker, wife of former Secretary of State, James A. Baker III. On December 6, 1993 the cruiser sailed into the Gulf of Mexico for her first pre-delivery sea trials. The ship was delivered to the U.S. Navy by Ingalls on April 25, 1994 in preparation for formal commissioning ceremonies on July 9, 1994 in Savannah, Georgia.
CG 73 is the 27th Aegis Cruiser, and the last cruiser to be constructed in the 20th century.
The USS PORT ROYAL was one of the first two US Navy ships to receive TBMD system modifications and SM2 Block IV-A missiles, as part of the US Navy Theater Ballistic Missile Defense (TBMD). She was created to conduct at-sea testing, develop core doctrine and tactics, and serve as focal points for developing the very latest theater ballistic defense technology. USS PORT ROYAL, along with the USS LAKE ERIE, has served as an operational unit for the development of doctrine and training, in addition to performance validation of the Navy Area TBMD Program. USS PORT ROYAL’s maiden deployment commenced in the latter part of 1995 as part of the USS NIMITZ Battle Group to the waters near Taiwan and then to the Persian Gulf. The NIMITZ BATTLE GROUP was the second carrier task force deployed to the Taiwan area where tensions were building because of Chinese military exercises and missile tests near Taiwan.
Shortly after her maiden deployment the PORT ROYAL became the first cruiser to integrate women into the crew, a process which was accomplished smoothly and with great success.
In 1997 and 1998, USS PORT ROYAL conducted surface and air defense operations for the USS NIMITZ BATTLE GROUP. She was operating in the Persian Gulf in support of the U.S. and coalition enforcement of the no-fly-zone over southern Iraq.
During 1999, the year in which USS PORT ROYAL won it’s fifth consecutive “Battle E” award, she participated in six major COMTHIRDFLEET exercises, four TBMD events covering over 31,000 miles, and 302 hours of flight operations. The ship’s participation in the FLEETEX and JTFEX with the USS JOHN C. STENNIS earned her certification to deploy in January 2000.
USS PORT ROYAL departed on her third deployment in January 2000 as part of the USS JOHN C. STENNIS CARRIER BATTLE GGROUP to the Western Pacific and Arabian Gulf. She returned in June after supporting Operation Southern Watch and Maritime Interception Operations in the Arabian Gulf.
November 17, 2001 USS PORT ROYAL departed Pearl Harbor, two months before her scheduled deployment date, with the USS JOHN C. STENNIS BATTLE GROUP. While on deployment she took part in Operation Enduring Freedom in the Arabian Gulf. She returned home on May 21, 2002.
On September 3, 2003 USS PORT ROYAL commanded by Capt. Pat Allen, 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.
January 1-2, 2004 PORT ROYAL operating in the North Arabian Sea intercepted and detained a dhow and fifteen individuals. Boarding teams from CG 73 and the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit assigned to Expeditionary Strike Group One confiscated an estimated 2,800 pounds of hashish, stored in 50 to 100 pound bags, (approximately$11 million street value).
PORT ROYAL returned to homeport on March 11, 2004 following a six and a half month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Maritime Interception Operations (MIO) in the Arabian Gulf. In addition to a variety of security cooperation exercises with countries in the U.S. Central Command/5th Fleet area of responsibility, PORT ROYAL Participated in Exercise Sea Saber. This exercise was the fifth in a series of multi-national exercises based on the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI).
June 9, 2005 Military ships from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and Canadian navy anchored in Gov. Tom McCall Park in downtown Portland, Oregon as part of Fleet Week for the city's annual celebration of Rose Festival. Navy ships including USS MCCLUSKY (FFG 41), USS PORT ROYAL and USS DECATUR (DDG 73) spent three days in Portland, giving tours to thousands of locals and contributing to the community.
On February 27, 2006 USS PORT ROYAL, commanded by Capt. David Matawitz, departed Pearl Harbor for a six-month western Pacific deployment with the USS PELELIU ESG-3 in support of the Global War on Terrorism. During this deployment the ship conducted maritime interdiction and security operations off the Horn of Africa and in the Northern Arabian Gulf. During this deployment PORT ROYAL had the distinction to be visited by then Secretary of State, the Honorable Condolezza Rice. On August 5, 2006 PORT ROYAL returned to Naval Station Pearl Harbor after completing the six-month deployment.
Under the Command of Captain David Adler USS PORT ROYAL departed Pearl Harbor on November 12, 2007 for a six-month deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi freedom. While in the fifth fleet area of operation, PORT ROYAL assisted Bahrain with repairs to the Royal Bahraini Naval ship SABHA. On May 2, 2008 USS PORT ROYAL returned to Naval Station Pearl Harbor.
October 23, 2008 Capt. John Carroll relieved Capt. David B. Adler as commanding officer of the PORT ROYAL. On February 5, 2009 while undergoing sea trials after a shipyard availability, USS PORT ROYAL ran aground about a mile and a half from the entrance to Pearl harbor at about 9 p.m. Hawaii time. On February 9, USS PORT ROYAL was pulled off the reef by the USNS SALVOR along with 8 other tugs and towed back to Pearl Harbor.
February 10, 2009 Capt. John Lauer III relieved Captain Carroll as Commanding Officer of PORT ROYAL and immediately led in the repairs and a vigorous training the crew. On September 24, 2009 after seven months of repairs and training the ship departed the dry dock and moored in Naval Station Pearl Harbor in preparations for upcoming Dock trials and Sea trials.
On November 2, 2009, PORT ROYAL successfully navigated and returned to sea for a series of sea trials.
COMMISSIONED: Savannah, GA
LOCATION: 09 JUL 1994