AGF 11 Coronado
The AGF 11 USS Coronado command ship serves as the flagships for the Commander, Third Fleet. Command ships provide communications and accommodations for fleet commanders and staff. Ships are equipped air and surface radars, helicopter, chaff launchers, and an electronic warfare suite.
Coronado was converted from an amphibious warfare ship [LPD-11] for employment as a command ship. USS CORONADO was built by Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Company in Seattle, Washington. Its keel was laid on 3 May 1965 and the ship was launched on 30 July 1966. USS CORONADO was commissioned 23 May 1970. USS CORONADO was designed as an Amphibious Transport Dock (LPD), built to transport Marines and their equipment to the scene of an amphibious assault, and move them ashore by landing craft and helicopters.
The ship is one of seven fitted with additional superstructure for command ship duties. The USS CORONADO (AGF 11) has undergone numerous modifications since her redesignation from LPD to AGF. Among the more significant changes have been to her Command Control Communications Computers and Intelligence (C4I) capabilities. Other than C4I modifications the ship physically no longer looks like one of the original LPD's. Her 3" 50 caliber guns have been removed, the sterngate has been sealed shut, and the well deck has been replaced with offices to support the staff.
First assigned to the U. S. Atlantic Fleet in the 1970's, CORONADO conducted extensive operations and deployed on numerous occasions to Northern Europe and the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas. In 1980, CORONADO was redesignated an AGF (Miscellaneous Command Ship). Her first assignment was to relieve the USS LASALLE (AGF 3) as the command ship for Commander, U. S. Middle East Force, stationed in the Persian Gulf. Reassigned in October 1985, CORONADO relieved USS PUGET SOUND (AD 38) as the command ship of Commander, SIXTH Fleet. During her ten month tour with SIXTH Fleet, she operated out of Gaeta, Italy, participating in operations in the Gulf of Sidra and strikes against Libyan terrorist support facilities.
In July 1986, CORONADO was relieved as SIXTH Fleet command ship and ordered to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to become the command ship for Commander, THIRD Fleet. Subsequently, CORONADO was relieved as THIRD Fleet command ship and deployed to the Arabian Gulf to assume duties as command ship for Commander, Middle East Force in January of 1988. Upon her return to Pearl Harbor in November 1988, CORONADO again assumed her duties as command ship for THIRD Fleet.
The ship remained homeported in Hawaii until August 1991, when it and THIRD Fleet changed homeports to Naval Air Station North Island, in her namesake city of Coronado, California. In March 1998 CORONADO shifted homeports from Naval Air Station North Island to Submarine Base, Point Loma, San Diego, California in order to accommodate berthing additional air craft carriers at the Naval Air Station.
CORONADO is a "work in progress". The ship is well on its way to becoming the most technically advanced and finest Joint Task Force (JTF) Command Ship in commission. Although the major construction of the JTF complex in the former Well Deck has been completed, outfitting of the command and control spaces continues. This JTF Complex was designed with the input of people like yourselves and from lessons learned from many recent operations and exercises.
USS CORONADO routinely embarks a helicopter squadron detachment from HC-11 during at-sea periods. Her air department and hangar facilities can support a variety of helicopter missions; her flight deck can launch and recover any Navy helicopter as well as the AV-8 Harrier VSTOL
CORONADO has a civilian system known as Challenge Athena III, which serves as a back up to the military antenna, WSC-6. CAIII and WSC-6 provide the ship access to the SHF bandwidth via a satellite.
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