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USS Yorktown Decommissioned at Pascagoula

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS041206-03
Release Date: 12/6/2004 9:27:00 AM

By Stacey Byington, Naval Station Pascagoula Public Affairs

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (NNS) -- USS Yorktown (CG 48), the second Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser, was decommissioned Dec. 3, after more than 20 years of service, at Naval Station Pascagoula, where Yorktown has been homeported since September 1996.

Speakers for the decommissioning ceremony included Dr. Philip Dur, Yorktown's second commanding officer, and Adm. Michael Mullen, Yorktown's fifth commanding officer. Dur is now the president of Northrop Grumman Ship Systems. Mullen is commander, Joint Forces Command Naples and is dual-hatted as commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe.

"A ship named 'Yorktown' has served in every major U.S. conflict since the Spanish-American War, and all served with pride in their namesake and with a sense of purpose," said Dur. "Each ship distinguished itself through success with hard-fighting crews, led by capable seamen and tacticians.

"Though I can't help but feel saddened by the decommissioning of CG 48, I am heartened when I think of the great things yet to come," Dur said.

Yorktown most recently completed a six-month deployment with the USS Wasp (LHD 1) Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG 2), making key contributions to Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and Market Time II in support of the global war on terrorism.

As Cmdr. Steven Sloan accepted the ship's commissioning pennant and was relieved as the ship's final commanding officer, he praised the crew.

"Yorktown has set the standard for operational excellence," he said. "Crew members can justifiably be proud of their accomplishments in the global war on terrorism. They dubbed this last deployment their 'Victory Lap,' in keeping with the ship's motto, 'Victory is our tradition.'"

Yorktown is the second Ticonderoga-class cruiser to be decommissioned at Pascagoula. The third Pascagoula-based cruiser, USS Thomas S. Gates (CG 51), is slated for decommissioning in 2006.

The ship is being stricken from the active list of naval vessels, and will be towed and transferred to the Inactive Ships Maintenance Facility in Philadelphia.

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