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USS Ticonderoga to Make Final Deployment Before Decommissioning

Navy Newsstand

Story Number: NNS040310-04

Release Date: 3/10/2004 8:58:00 AM

By Stacey Byington, Naval Station Pascagoula Public Affairs

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (NNS) -- USS Ticonderoga (CG 47) will depart its homeport at Naval Station Pascagoula for its final deployment March 10. The ship is scheduled to be decommissioned Sept. 30.

While deployed, the ship will initially conduct counter-drug operations in the eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and then participate in UNITAS operations off the coast of South America.

UNITAS is an annual series of multinational training exercises and operations conducted by the Navy, Marine Corps, Special Operations and U.S. Coast Guard forces with their counterparts from South and Central American countries of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Although Ticonderoga will not be joining the carrier strike groups currently operating in the Middle East, the ship will be supporting homeland defense, working hand-in-hand with the U.S. Coast Guard. It will be patrolling coastal waters and airspace, standing watch over critical infrastructure, collecting intelligence and intercepting threats to U.S. national security.

Ticonderoga is an Aegis guided-missile cruiser, one of three assigned to Destroyer Squadron 6, homeported at Pascagoula. It is a multi-mission surface combatant capable of supporting carrier strike groups, amphibious forces, operating as a flagship of a surface strike group, or operating independently.

It has a crew of more than 350 men and women, and has the ability to carry out multi-dimensional, multi-threat combat missions. As part of its Aegis weapons arsenal, Ticonderoga is equipped with sophisticated displays and computer systems, and advanced surface-to-air missiles, and is ideally suited to perform duties as "Shield of the Fleet" against a complex and fast-moving air attack of any kind.

Ticonderoga was built in Pascagoula and commissioned in January 1983. It was the world's first surface combatant equipped with the AEGIS combat system, the most sophisticated air defense in the world. During the ship's lifetime, its crews have been involved in major national and international events and several historic NATO exercises.

Ticonderoga is commanded by Cmdr. Glenn W. Zeiders III.

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