CG 66 Hue City
"Fidelty, Courage, Honor"
USS Hue City (CG 66) is the first United States ship to bear this name and the only ship named after a battle of the Vietnam War. She is the twentieth Ticonderoga-class Aegis guided-missile cruiser. Her mission is to conduct prompt, sustained combat operations at sea in support of a carrier battle group or amphibious assault group. Hue City is assigned to Commander, Carrier Group Six, and is home-ported at Naval Station Mayport, near Jacksonville, FL.
The mission of Hue City (CG-66) is to conduct prompt, sustained combat operations at sea in support of a carrier battle group or amphibious assault group. Hue City has been designed to defend against coordinated saturation attacks involving enemy surface ships, submarines, aircraft and missiles. Additionally, Hue City is able to engage in offensive actions against the enemy through employment of long-range anti-shipping missiles, land attack missiles and naval gunfire.
USS Hue City (CG-66), the first United States ship to bear this name and the only ship named after a battle of the Vietnam War, is the twentieth in the Ticonderoga Class of Aegis guided-missile cruisers and the fourteenth to be built by Ingalls Shipbuilding of Pascagoula, Mississippi. Her keel was laid on 20 February 1989. She was floated on 1 June 1990 and christened on 21 July 1991 by her sponsor, Mrs. Jo Ann Cheatham, the wife of Lieutenant General Earnest C. Cheatham, Jr., USMC (Ret.). Hue City flies the the flag of the United States Marine Corps as well as the national ensign and the flag of the United States Navy.
Hue City sailed on 11 March 1993 for her maiden deployment to the Mediterranean Sea as Air Warfare Commander for the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) battle group. Principally operating in the Adriatic Sea, Hue City developed the air picture and transmitted it to command centers afloat and ashore. Hue City also monitored the safety of United Nations relief flights to Bosnia, ensuring Serbian aircraft did not violate no-fly zones.
While conducting refresher training near Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in April 1994 Hue City was directed to serve as Destroyer Squadron 22 flagship in support of United Nations sanctions against Haiti. Later that year Hue City conducted counter-narcotics operations in the Caribbean Sea.
Hue City sailed for her second deployment 22 March 1995 with the Theodore Roosevelt battle group, again as Air Warfare Commander. Hue City took station in the Red Sea, where she provided air coverage and support to the Combat Air Patrols enforcing the no-fly zone in southern Iraq.
Hue City sailed for the Baltic Sea on 24 May 1996 to participate in operations involving forty-eight ships from thirteen nations. The operations focused on tracking air, surface and subsurface targets in a multinational task force.
Hue City deployed on 29 April 1997 to the Mediterranean Sea as Air Warfare Commander for the USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) battle group. Hue City operated in the Adriatic Sea, overseeing all air activity in support of naval operations.
Early in 1998 Hue City received the installation of Cooperative Engagement Capability(CEC) equipment. This capability represents the leading edge of air warfare, enabling Hue City to launch a missile against an enemy target that is being tracked by another vessel. CEC brings new capability to air defense, not by adding new radars or weapon systems, but by distributing sensor and weapons data from existing systems in a new and significantly different manner. Cooperative Engagement Capability is being developed by Raytheon in conjunction with Lockheed Martin. With CEC, data from each unit is distributed to all other units, filtered, and combined using identical algorithms into a single, common air picture. Each CEC unit combines ownship radar measurement data with those from all other CEC units using the same CEC algorithms. The result is an air picture based on all the data available providing tracks with identical track numbers throughout the net. The concept for CEC was tested on ships of the USS Eisenhower (CVN 69) battle group in 1995. Early in 1998 Hue City, USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) and USS Vicksburg (CG 69) received the production installation of CEC.
That same year, the USS VICKSBURG (CG69) experienced significant problems with AEGIS Baseline 6.1 and CEC 2.0 integration, which forced re-scheduling its deployments and caused a major rework of these computer programs.
In the spring of 1999 Hue City sailed for the Caribbean Sea for counter-narcotics operations. Hue City spent the summer of 1999 in the Baltic Sea with Commander, Carrier Group Two, participating in exercises with more than 50 ships from nations belonging to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the Partnership For Peace.
The USS Hue City took part in the Carribean Phase Task Group of the 41st annual UNITAS Naval exercise, as the flagship. The Caribbean Phase, hosted by the U.S. Navy, commenced March 19, 2000 with a multi-national task force port visit to Cartagena including four U.S. ships. This phase ended April 10th with a port visit to Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. It marked the first time in the history of UNITAS that three separate phases, formerly hosted by the U.S., Colombian and Venezuelan Navies, were being combined into one larger and more complex phase. The following year, Colombia was to host the Caribbean Phase, with rotation of host-nation responsibilities going to Venezuela the following year.
The USS Hue City took part in International Naval Review on July 4, 2000 in New York Harbor, and then Sail Boston 2000.
As part of the USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73) Carrier Battle Group (CVBG), and in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the USS Hue City set sail in support of defense and humanitarian efforts off the coast of New York.
Ships and aircraft of the USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) Carrier Battle Group (CVBG) commenced use of the Vieques Island inner range beginning Sept. 24, 2001 in conjunction with their Composite Unit Training Exercises (COMPUTEX). The exercise, which began the week prior, also utilized the northern and southern Puerto Rican operating areas, and involved complex battle group training events, naval surface fire-support training and air-to-ground bombing.
The USS Hue City then took part in Underway No. 10", one in a series of tests leading to the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) Operation Evaluation (OPEVAL) scheduled for Spring 2001. The CEC system provides the capability to cooperatively engage targets by a warship using data from other CEC-equipped ships, aircraft, and land-based sensors, even in an electronic-jamming environment. It also provides a common, consistent and highly accurate air picture, allowing battle group defenses to act as one seamless system. The test, off Wallops Island, VA, simulated missile firings from some of the Navy's most technically advanced ships against unmanned drones.
As part of the USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) Battle Group (CVBG), the USS Hue City took part Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) 02-1, with Phase I of the exercise running from January 19 through 26, 2002 and Phase II running February 7-14, 2002.
In March 2002, the USS Hue City was part of the USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) Carrier Battle Group at it relieved the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Carrier Battle Group, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
In May 2002, during a three-day Naval Gun Fire Support (NGFS) exercise off the coast of Djibouti, Africa, USS Hue City (CG 66) fired hundreds of 5-inch rounds in support of Marine Expeditionary Unit Exercise 2002 (MEUEX '02) more than 60 targets that included tanks, bunkers, and various military vehicles. Hue City joined the WASP Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit to conduct this first of its kind exercise in this little-known region of northeast Africa.
Ship's Shield and Crest
The shield's dark blue and gold are traditional Navy colors; red is emblematic of courage and sacrifice. The trident represents past and present and symbolizes sea power and the vertical launch system of USS Hue City. The tines of the trident represent the modern AEGIS cruiser capabilities of anti-air, land, and surface warfare, while the bottom spike denotes the ship's undersea warfare capabilities. The crossed swords form a saltire with the upper and lower quadrants depicting the two Vietnams. The point where they cross illustrates the location and strategic importance of the battle for Hue. The smaller shield at center commemorates the U.S. Marines' victory and the raising of the U.S. flag upon capturing the provincial headquarters in Hue. The crossed Navy cutlass and Marine mameluke sword also express strength through teamwork and cooperation, and are combined with a palm wreath symbolizing the battle and victory.
The crest's fortress recalls the citadel at Hue, which the U.S. Marines fought so valiantly to capture. The oriental dragon symbolizes both the fierceness of the siege and the fighting spirit of the crew of Hue City.
"Fidelity, Courage, Honor" represent the finest qualities of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps: faithfulness to one's comrades and the values of the United States, the moral fortitude to overcome fear in the face of battle, and the integrity to conduct oneself with dignity and respect at all times.
The Battle of Hue
The city of Hue, South Vietnam, was the site of one of the fiercest battles of the Vietnam War. Three understrength U.S. Marine battalions, consisting of fewer than 2,500 men, attacked and soundly defeated more than 10,000 entrenched enemy troops, liberating Hue for South Vietnam.
Situated in central Vietnam, Hue was the country's cultural capital, a unique blend of French and Vietnamese influence. The Imperial City, it gracefully retained the glory of Vietnam's past while its universities educated Vietnam's brightest minds for the future. Hue was a symbol of everything the Vietnamese people admired and respected. For this reason, it was spared the terrible effects of war-until Tet 1968.
During the lunar new year holiday of Tet-a very important week-long religious holiday during which half of South Vietnam's 730,000-man army was on leave-the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army launched a massive assault on South Vietnam. Within 48 hours, attacks were made on Saigon, Hue, Quang Tri, Da Nang, Kontum, and virtually every other major city in South Vietnam-36 provincial capitals, 5 autonomous cities, and 23 military airfields and installations. The city of Hue, with its 140,000 citizens, was occupied by the North Vietnamese. This Tet Offensive began on January 31, 1968. Marines of the First and Fifth Regiments, fighting alongside the Army of the Republic of Vietnam's 1st Division, were supported by U.S. Army 7th and 12th Cavalry Regiments, among other units, in the battle for Hue.
That same day, U.S. Marines launched Operation Hue City to retake the city for the South Vietnamese. North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces were driven out of Hue little by little as U.S. Marines retook the city one block at a time. The Marines retook the Treasury building, the university, the hospital, the Provincial Headquarters and, finally, the citadel. On February 26, 1968, the city of Hue was declared secure. U.S. forces remained another week to ensure the city's safety. Marine casualties were 142 dead and 857 wounded. While they held the city the North Vietnamese executed 5,000 civilian political enemies.
U.S. Marine Seargent Alfredo Gonzalez was awarded the Medal of Honor for his fearless gallantry above and beyond the call of duty. Today, USS Gonzalez (DDG-66) honors the memory of this hero. Additionally, countless Silver Stars and Purple Hearts were awarded for other acts of heroism.
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