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CG 61 Monterey
"Rough in Battle and Ready in Peace"

On the ship's crest is pictured General Zachary Taylor in his typical battle pose, leg slung over the saddle atop his famous white stallion "Old Whitie," before the heavily defended Independence Hill, the turning point in the Battle of Monterey. In the background, Black Fort, another massive stone work protecting the city.

The shield's central shield represents AEGIS. the impenetrable defensive shield of the greek god "Zeus." Over this appears the Surface Warfare Logo, symbolizing the three dimensional (Air, Surface, and Subsurface) threat. The AEGIS elongated octagon covers this symbol. This octagon is familiar to all who view the modern warship's sophisticated radar array. Centered on the octagon, a dark blue anchor characterizing seapower, strength, and Navy tradition. The gold star depicts battle stars earned by the aircraft carrier previously named Monterey. The principle colors, red and gold, establish bravery and excellence as traits honored aboard CG-61.

The motto is "ROUGH IN BATTLE AND READY IN PEACE" comes from the nickname of Zachary Taylor "Old Rough and Ready," which he earned in battle against the Seminoles in Florida, and later used as a campaign slogan for his election to the office of President of the United States. SEAL The coat of arms is emblazoned upon a white oval enclosed by a blue collar edged on the outside with gold rope and inscribed with the words USS MONTEREY above and CG61 below in gold letters.

The USS Monterey provides anti-air, anti-surface, anti-submarine, and strike warfare support for the Navy in today's multi-threat environment. Utilizing the unique capabilities of the AEGIS Weapons System and the Vertical Launching System with data links to other ships and aircraft, Monterey can monitor the tactical situation, and supervise the engagement of hostile forces, for an entire battle group.

The USS Monterey was built at Bath Iron Works, launched on 23 October 1988, conducted her first sea trials in November, 1989, and was commissioned in Mayport, Florida on 16 June 1990. It is the fourth ship to bear the name Monterey in the U.S. Fleet.

The first was a screw tug which served in San Francisco Bay from 1863 to 1892. The second was Monitor No. 6 commissioned in 1893 and served in the Spanish-American War and the Philippine Insurrection. The third was a World War II aircraft carrier which won eleven battle stars.

The USS Monterey (CG 61) is the sixteenth AEGIS cruiser to join the fleet and the fourth built at the Iron Works of Bath, Maine. She takes her place in the coordinated Battle Group utilizing her Aegis Weapons System, SPY-1B radar, SM-2 surface-to-air guided missiles, and SQQ-89 Under Sea Warfare Suite in defense of the Battle Group against hostile aircraft, cruise missiles, and submarines. Monterey has been designed and built to fight in a multi-threat environment, and possesses a new long range strike capability in her Tomahawk and Harpoon cruise missiles. She also is capable of supporting two LAMPS MK III SH-60 helicopters.

The USS Monterey returned in January 1994 from a six month deployment to the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean with the USS America joint task Group (JTG). While deployed, JTG ships supported a variety of national, NATO and United Nations missions, including participation in Operations Deny Flight, Provide Promise and Sharp Guard in the Adriatic Sea off Bosnia-Herzegovina, Southern Watch in the Red Sea, and UNOSOM II (Continue Hope) in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Somalia. The ships of the JTG also participated in the bi-lateral U.S./Spanish exercise Poopdeck 94, off the coast of Spain in mid-January, before conducting visits to various Spanish ports. Poopdeck is an annual bi-lateral exercise in which aircraft and ships of Task Force 60 test the air defenses of Spain while defending against offensive strikes led by Spanish aircraft directed at Task Force 60 ships. Inclement weather precluded full airwing participation in the exercise, and most air operations were canceled for Poopdeck '94. USS Monterey provided duties as escort during the exercise.

The guided missile cruiser USS Monterey departed its homeport of Mayport, FL, on August 25, 1996, to relieve USS Mississippi (CGN 40) in the Adriatic Sea as the U.S. cruiser responsible for air surveillance off the coast of Bosnia. Once in the Adriatic, Monterey assumed the duties of Redcrown, where it was responsible for all air surveillance and aircraft control in the Adriatic Sea in direct support of NATO operations Deny Flight and Sharp Guard. During the six-month deployment, Monterey also had roles in operations Provide Promise, Southern Watch, Decisive Edge, and Decisive Endeavor in the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas and the Arabian Gulf. Monterey also participated in Exercise Infinite Courage, and the multinational exercises Bright Star and Final Courage.

While en route to a post-exercise port visit, Monterey responded to a distress call from an Austrian sailing vessel; one of whose crew members had suffered a severe head injury that required immediate medical attention. Monterey's next mission was to escort USS America to the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Southern Watch and enforcement of U.N. sanctions against Iraq. Shortly thereafter, America and Monterey were recalled back to the Adriatic Sea to support Operation Joint Endeavor and NATO troop insertions into Bosnia-Herzegovina as the Dayton Peace Accords went into effect.

During the transit, Monterey answered another distress call by a U.S. sailing vessel, which was being fired upon by Eritrea and Yemen forces during their conflict over disputed islands in the Red Sea. Monterey also joined forces with a the Russian RNS Admiral Kuznetsov (CV 063) battle group for two days of exercises January 21-22, 1996. The ships made port calls at Trieste, Ancona and Naples, Italy; Corfu, Souda Bay, Crete, Greece; and Antalya, Turkey, before returning home on February 24, 1996.

The USS Monterey (CG 61) arrived at its new home port of Norfolk on May 10, 1996 as part of the Atlantic Fleet's reorganization of its forces. The guided missile cruiser then began an 11-month maintenance overhaul on June 19 at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Inc. in Newport News, VA.

The USS Monterey (CG-61) served as the U.S. Flagship for U.S. Navy units participating in the Atlantic phase of the UNITAS 2001, which was hosted by the Uruguayan Navy. UNITAS 2001 focused on on high-tech surface, air and under-sea naval training exercises designed to train the force in multinational coalition operations, improve force interoperability and demonstrate hemispheric defense. The exercises were based on realistic world scenarios requiring the participating ships to operate as a combined multi-national task force.

The USS Monterey (CG-61) took part from January 12 through February 4, 1998, in Joint Task Force Exercise 98-1 as part of the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Carrier Battle Group (CVBG). This exercise, which included participation by more than 30,000 service members from all branches of the armed forces, was designed to meet the requirements for quality, realistic, intensive training to fully prepare U.S. forces for joint operations. The John C. Stennis CVBG and Wasp ARG were to depart for a scheduled six-month deployment the following month, and the JTFEX was to serve as the final certification on their readiness to deploy. This was to be the first deployment for Stennis, the Navy's newest aircraft carrier.

The USS Monterey (CG 61) deployed as part of the JFK Battle Group to the Arabian Gulf in 1999.

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 Montery set sail in support of defense and humanitarian efforts off the coast of New York.

USS Monterey (CVL-26, originally CV-26, later AVT-2), 1943-1971

USS Monterey, an 11,000-ton Independence class small aircraft carrier, was built at Camden, New Jersey. Begun as the light cruiser Dayton (CL-78), she was converted to an aircraft carrier well before launching and commissioned in June 1943 with the hull number CV-26. A month later, this was changed to CVL-26. Monterey transited the Panama Canal to the Pacific later in the year, and took part in the invasion of the Gilbert Islands in November. The following month, her planes raided Kavieng, New Ireland.

During the first half of 1944, Monterey participated in the Marshalls operation, attacks on the Japanese in the central Pacific and New Guinea, the Marianas invasion and the Battle of the Philippine Sea. After an overhaul, she rejoined the fast carriers for strikes on Wake Island, the Ryukyus and the Philippines in September-December 1944. In October, Monterey took part in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Late in the year, she was damaged while steaming through a typhoon and had to return to the U.S. west coast for repairs and another overhaul.

The carrier returned to the combat zone in time to contribute her air power to the conquest of Okinawa. In July and August 1945, she attacked the Japanese Home Islands. After a trans-Pacific voyage bringing veterans home from Japan, Monterey went to the Atlantic, where she was employed transporting men from Italy to the United States. She was decommissioned in February 1947.

After more than three years in "mothballs", the outbreak of the Korean War brought Monterey back to active duty. She recommissioned in September 1950, but remained in the Atlantic area. Sent to Pensacola in early 1951, she served as training carrier from then until mid-1955. Decommissioned again in January 1956, she returned to the Reserve Fleet. Monterey was reclassified as an aircraft transport in May 1959, with the new hull number AVT-2, but had no active service in that role. She was sold for scrapping in May 1971.

The Battle of Monterey

Ticonderoga Class Cruisers are named after famous American Battles (with the Exception of Thomas S. Gates CG-51). USS Monterey is named after the Battle of Monterey fought on 20 - 24 September 1846 in the war with Mexico, and the heritage of previous Navy ships.

On the 19th of September, General Zachary Taylor, with a force of 6,625 men, arrived at Monterey. The city, which sprawled before Taylor, presented a formidable aspect to the would-be conqueror. Monterey's southern and eastern limits rested on the Santa Catarina River, relatively safe from assault. Southwest, and just across the river from Nueva Leon's capital, stood Federal Hill, from which a single-gun redoubt and Fort El Soldado commanded the city. Directly across the river from these works, and even more imposing, rose the precipitous Independence Hill, boasting a sandbag redoubt on its western end, and a fortress, Bishop's Palace, on the east. North of the city stood Fort Black, a massive stone work mounting twelve guns. East of it, next to the river, was Fort Teneria with four guns and, behind it, a well- manned, fortified tannery. Two hundred yards south stood Fort Diablo. Throughout Monterey, houses were fortified with loopholes and sandbags, and streets had been barricaded. Garrisoning the awesome labyrinth of defenses were 10,000 regular troops led by General Pedro de Ampudia.

Starting on the morning of 20 September, Taylor stormed the heavily defended city. The Bishop's Palace fell for the Americans on 21 September. The Americans were forced to take each house in succession, since the houses were solidly built, and the streets strongly barricaded. The battle lasted until 23 September, with the Mexican forces contesting every foot of ground, until only the Citadel remained in their possession. On the morning of 24 September, General Ampudia surrendered. He and his army were permitted to march out with honors of war.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:46:04 ZULU