Second USS Coronado
Second USS Coronado

USS Coronado (LPD/AGF-11) was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the city in California. She was designed as an Austin-class amphibious transport dock (LPD), one of seven fitted with an additional superstructure level for command ship duties.

Her keel was laid down on 1 May 1965 by the Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Company of Seattle, Washington. She was launched on 1 July 1966 and commissioned 23 May 1970. First assigned to the U.S. Atlantic Fleet in the 1970s, USS Coronado conducted extensive operations, deploying on numerous occasions to the Caribbean Sea and Mediterranean Sea, as well as northern Europe.

In 1980 Coronado was re-designated an Auxiliary Command Ship (AGF-11). Her first assignment was as command ship for Commander, U.S. Middle East Force, stationed in the Persian Gulf. She was assigned as the command ship of Commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet in October 1985. In July 1986, Coronado was ordered to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, to become the command ship for Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet. Coronado was relieved as Third Fleet command ship and deployed to the Persian Gulf to assume duties as command ship for Commander, U.S. Middle East Force in January 1988. During this period she served as flagship for Operation Praying Mantis, the largest American naval action since World War II.

On 9 November 1988, Coronado again assumed her duties as Commander, U.S. Third Fleet command ship. Coronado remained homeported in Hawaii until August 1991, when crew and staff changed homeports to San Diego. Third Fleet and Coronado had become the center for naval innovation and technology experimentation. In November 1998 a large ship modification was completed. Incorporating the latest network-centric technology, Coronado became the most advanced command ship in the world. As a result, in October 2000, the Office of the Secretary of the Navy assigned Coronado to host the Navy's Sea-Based Battle Lab (SBBL), an afloat platform for testing prototype systems and software, evaluating future naval capabilities, and assessing operational compatibility and possible further implementation throughout the United States Navy.

In November 2003 Coronado was decommissioned, transferred to the Military Sealift Command and redesignated T-AGF-11. However, shortly thereafter, it was transferred back to the Navy and recommissioned. In 2004, the 7th Fleet command ship, USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19), went into dry dock and Coronado temporarily assumed 7th Fleet command responsibilities. On 27 September 2004, Blue Ridge returned to duty as the command ship. USS Coronado (AGF-11) was decommissioned at the end of Fiscal Year 2006.

On 12 September 2012, AGF-11 was sunk and now serves as an artificial reef for the Marianas region.

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