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CG 63 Cowpens
"Victoria Libertatis Vindex"
"Thundering Herd"

USS Cowpens (CG 63) is the seventeenth of twenty seven Ticonderoga (CG 47) class guided missile cruiser. It's a multi-mission surface combatant capable of supporting carrier battle groups, amphibious forces, independent operations, or of acting as the flagship of a surface action group.

The primary roles of Cowpens and of other Aegis cruisers are Anti-Air Warfare (AAW) and Strike Warfare (STW), while still performing superbly in her secondary roles in Undersea Warfare (USW/ASW), Anti-Surface Warfare (ASUW), and Naval Surface Fire Support (NSFS) for ground forces ashore. Cowpens serves as part of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces in Yokosuka, Japan as part of Battle Force Seventh Fleet.

The mission of USS Cowpens is to be fully ready to seek out and destroy enemy aircraft, submarines and surface ships and to attack enemy land targets.

The USS Cowpens deployed in 1996 for a six-month period to the Arabian Gulf as part of the Kitty Hawk Task Group.

The USS Cowpens (CG 63), took part, along with the USS Valley Forge (CG 50) and USS Jarrett (FFG 33), in a live standard-missile firing exercise in the Southern California operating areas in the fall of 1997. The exercise was a "Proof Of Concept" demonstration to see if the Navy could safely conduct live surface-to-air missile firings off the coast of San Diego, and possibly reduce the costs of conducting training.

The USS Cowpens deloyed in 1998 for six months to the Western Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf.

The USS Cowpens underwent a regular overhaul that was scheduled to be completed in December 1999/ Southwest Marine, Inc., San Diego, CA, was awarded an $8,719,494 firm-fixed-price with performance fee contract for the overhaul; work for which was performed in San Diego, CA.

The USS Cowpens joined the Forward Deployed Naval Forces of Seventh Fleet, replacing the USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), in July 2000.

The ship completed internationally successful diplomatic visits to Vladivostok, Russia. The Cowpens, after a deployment to the Indian Ocean, and visiting along the way Guam, Singapore, Thailand and India, paid a visit to Mumbai, India as the US Navy representative to the 2001 International Fleet Review. She was one of 97 ships representing more than 30 countries. The Cowpens played an active role in the relief effort following January earthquakes in northwestern India, delivering medical and humanitarian supplies.

Cowpens also participated in several bi-lateral and multilateral exercises with the navies of Japan and Korea. This included Annual Exercise 2001 - a bilateral training drill between the Navy and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, in November, in which the Aegis-Guided missile cruiser was the Navy's centerpiece for the exercise while the USS Kitty Hawk deployed to the Indian Ocean for Operation Enduring Freedom. Operationally, Cowpens also supported highly sensitive escort missions and Operation NOBLE EAGLE. The USS Cowpens also operated in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM conducting Strait of Malacca escort operations.

USS Cowpens returned to Yokosuka, Japan, April 14, 2004 after almost two weeks of sea trials. This under way period marked the official end of Cowpens' nine-week dry-docking selected restricted availability period. All facets of shipboard operation were subjected to rigorous testing during the trials in order to verify both the ship's material condition and the proficiency of her crew. Cowpens' 5-inch and CIWS [close-in weapon system] gun mounts were operational and tested for the first time this year. Combat systems and weapons department personnel tested the ship's defensive systems and ran numerous combat scenarios, preparing for whatever missions and challenges that might await the crew over the next year.

Shield and Crest

The shield's dark blue and gold are the colors traditionally associated with the Navy. Red denotes valor and sacrifice, while white represents high ideals. The three wavy bars refer to the sea, the USS Cowpens area of operations; and allude to the three lines of attack used by Brigadier General Daniel Morgan at Cowpens, South Carolina, in 1781. The previous USS Cowpens (CVL 25) service in World War II is honored by the circle of twelve battle stars. The Navy sword symbolizes a heritage of service and the vertical launch capabilities of CG 63. The wedge, or pile, symbolizes the spearhead of Morgan's attack and the vertical launch capabilities of the Aegis Cruiser; the jagged edge denotes the terrain of felled trees and rough fences making up the battle field at Cowpens.

The crest's muskets with attached bayonets emphasize the victory at Cowpens was won by the close combat of sustained fire and bayonet attack, and the drum suggests the Revolutionary War call to arms. The first eagle & stripes flag and the Maryland Regimental flag were flown at the Battle of Cowpens. The skyward spikes characterize the combat air support and strike capabilities of CVL 25 and the Aegis Weapons System of CG 63. CVL 25 earned the Navy Unit Commendation for World War II service, represented by the spike colors of blue, gold, red, & green.

The ship's motto is "Victoria Libertatis Vindex", Latin for "Victory Vindicates Liberty". The phrase was originally inscribed on a medal awarded to General Morgan by the French government for his brilliant tactics and leadership at the Battle of Cowpens.

The Battle of Cowpens

USS Cowpens (CG 63) is named to commemorate the Revolutionary war battle fought January 17, 1781 at the "COW PENS" South Carolina. There, Brigadier General Daniel Morgan and his experienced, yet untrained, militia and 300 Colonial soldiers under Lieutenant Colonel John Eager Howard met and defeated the stronger, better-trained force of British Army regulars under Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton.

The victory provided the morale-building catalyst needed to motivate the young American forces in defeating the British at Yorktown nine months later.

Morgan's superior knowledge of his ennemy and use of the "double envelopment" maneuver provided victory in less than an hour of battle.

USS Cowpens (CVL 25)

The first ship to be named Cowpens was an Independence-class light aircraft carrier of World War II. Initially, when her keel was laid in November 1941, she was to be the light cruiser HUNTINGTON (CL-107). The country's need for carriers prevailed, however, following the December entrance of the United States into World War II. A drugstore owner in Cowpens, SC had written President Roosevelt, suggesting a carrier be named for the famous nearby Revolutionary War battle. Carriers at the time were named for famous battles (as cruisers are now), and the ship was reclassified CVL-25, USS Cowpens. Her crew affectionately called her the "Mighty Moo".

She went on to earn 12 battle stars and a Navy Unit Commendation for her exemplary service. She was also the first light aircraft carrier into Tokyo Bay, and from her decks her crew watched the signing of the Japanese surrender aboard USS Missouri (the "Mighty Mo") ending World War II.




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