US Navy bids fair winds and following seas to the USS Bunker Hill

After 37 years of service, the USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) was decommissioned during a ceremony at Naval Base San Diego on Friday. 

“The USS Bunker Hill’s legacy is a testament to our commitment to national security. As we lower the flag one final time, we honor the past while embracing the Navy’s future,” said the ship’s last commanding officer, Capt. Jason Rogers.

Bunker Hill was the 11th Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser and saw action in Operation Earnest Will, Desert Storm, and Desert Shield. The ship carried a crew of 40 officers, 31 chiefs, and 300 enlisted sailors. 

The Bunker Hill was the first guided-missile cruiser in the Navy to be equipped with the MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS). The system made the ship capable of firing a wide range of missiles, from firing air defense missiles at incoming aircraft to launching long-range strikes at land-based targets or other large ships.

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During Operation Desert Storm, Bunker Hill launched 28 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles against targets in Iraq. In 2009, it was the first ship to receive upgrades from the Navy’s Cruiser Modernization Program. The upgrades included an Aegis Weapons System, an advanced targeting and tracking system that combat cruise missiles and air platforms better, and SPQ-9B radar. 

The ship was built in Pascagoula, Mississippi, by Ingalls Shipyard Company and commissioned at Charlestown, Boston, on ​​Sept. 20, 1986, near the Bunker Hill Battle Memorial. 

The ship and its predecessor were both named for the June 17, 1775 Revolutionary War battle at Charlestown, Massachusetts. 

Commander Arlo Abrahamson, a spokesman for the Navy’s US Pacific Fleet, said the Bunker Hill will be towed to Bremerton, Washington, where it will serve as a “logistics support asset.” 

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