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USS Coronado (AGF-11) (originally LPD-11) was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named after the city of the same name in the U.S. state of California. She was designed as an Austin-class amphibious transport dock (LPD), one of seven fitted with an additional superstructure level for command ship duties. The ship was launched on 1 July 1966, commissioned 23 May 1970, and became the most advanced command ship in the world. The ship was the first combatant ship in the United States Navy to integrate women as full-time crew members.[3]

USS Coronado after RIMPAC '98.JPEG
USS Coronado in 1998
History
United States
Name: Coronado
Namesake: City of Coronado, California
Ordered: 15 May 1964
Builder: Lockheed Shipbuilding
Laid down: 3 May 1965
Launched: 30 July 1966
Commissioned: 23 May 1970
Decommissioned: 30 September 2006
Reclassified: AGF
Refit: 1980 (Conversion from LPD to AGF)
Homeport: NAVSTA San Diego, California, U.S.
Motto: Semper Ductor (Always a Leader)
Nickname(s): "Building 11"
Fate: Sunk as part of live-fire exercise Valiant Shield 2012.[1][2]
Status: 3,045 fathoms (5,569 m) deep at 11°32′6″N 144°31′52″E / 11.53500°N 144.53111°E / 11.53500; 144.53111[citation needed]
Badge: The ship's crest of USS Coronado (AGF-11)
General characteristics
Class and type: Austin-class amphibious transport dock
Displacement: 16,405 tons full, 10,878 tons light,   5,527 tons dead
Length: 173.4 m (569 ft) overall, 167 m (548 ft) waterline
Beam: 32.9 m (108 ft) extreme, 25.6 m (84 ft) waterline
Draught: 6.7 m (22 ft) maximum, 7 m (23 ft) limit
Propulsion: steam
Speed: 21 knots
Complement: 106 officers, 1247 enlisted

Coronado was decommissioned on 30 September 2006, was used for target practice during Valiant Shield 2012 exercises, and was sunk in the Marianas Island Range Complex on 12 September 2012.[4]

Contents

HistoryEdit

The Coronado's keel was laid down on 1 May 1965 by the Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Company of Seattle, Washington. She was launched on 1 July 1966. After two years of labor shortages and a 12-month strike, she was commissioned 23 May 1970.

First assigned to the U.S. Atlantic Fleet in the 1970s, Coronado conducted extensive operations, deploying on numerous occasions to the Caribbean Sea and Mediterranean Sea, as well as northern Europe.

In 1980, the Coronado was re-designated an Auxiliary Command Ship (AGF-11). Her first assignment was to relieve the La Salle (AGF-3) as command ship for Commander, U.S. Middle East Force, stationed in the Persian Gulf.

Reassigned in October 1985, the Coronado relieved Puget Sound (AD-38) as the command ship of Commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet. During a ten-month tour with the Sixth Fleet, Coronado operated out of Gaeta, Italy, participating in operations in the Gulf of Sidra and strikes against Libyan terrorist support facilities.

In July 1986, the Coronado was relieved as Sixth Fleet command ship and ordered to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, to become the command ship for Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet. The admiral and his staff embarked on board Coronado in November 1986. Subsequently, Coronado was relieved as Third Fleet command ship and deployed to the Persian Gulf to assume duties as command ship for Commander, U.S. Middle East Force in January 1988. During this period she served as flagship for Operation Praying Mantis, the largest American naval action since World War II.

Upon her return to Pearl Harbor on 9 November 1988, Coronado again assumed her duties as Commander, U.S. Third Fleet command ship.

USS Coronado remained homeported in Hawaii until August 1991, when crew and staff changed homeports to San Diego.

On 28 February 1994, USS Coronado became the first combatant ship in the United States Navy to embark women as part of its regular, full-time crew.[1]

Since then, Third Fleet and Coronado had become the center for naval innovation and technology experimentation. In November 1998 a large ship modification was completed. Incorporating the latest network-centric technology, Coronado became the most advanced command ship in the world.[5]

Sea-Based Battle LabEdit

In October 2001, the Office of the Secretary of the Navy assigned Coronado to host the Navy's Sea-Based Battle Lab (SBBL), an afloat platform for testing prototype systems and software, evaluating future naval capabilities, and assessing operational compatibility and possible further implementation throughout the United States Navy.

Recent developments in technology have spawned significant advances in naval warfare capabilities. Wireless and Web-based tools, along with new weapon systems, have enabled naval forces to conduct precision operations with greater synchronization, expedience, and potency. With over 16,000 square feet (1,500 m2) of reconfigurable command space and one of the world's most advanced naval C4I suites, SBBL offers a unique shipboard environment that facilitates the evaluation of research for maritime and joint operations.

The Third Fleet J9 Directorate was responsible for managing the SBBL. Partnered with other services, national laboratories, academia, and industry, the Third Fleet staff developed joint exercises and experiments for evaluating the following in an operational environment:

  • JTF Command Center organization and configuration
  • Tactics, techniques, and procedures
  • Naval and joint doctrine
  • Biometrics (human feature recognition)
  • Wireless applications
  • Knowledge management
  • Web-based applications
  • Logistics
  • Humanitarian assistance/disaster relief

The staff and crew provided an unbiased evaluation of the proposal's viability and functionality. Promising, mature initiatives are endorsed for advancement into the beta testing cycle on board the next deploying carrier battle group (or amphibious ready group) and/or into the acquisition process.

Decommissioning and disposalEdit

Late 2003 saw a see-saw change for the Coronado. In November it was decommissioned, transferred to the Military Sealift Command and redesignated T-AGF-11. However, it was concluded shortly thereafter that the operations the ship engaged in required it to be a warship and thus it was transferred back to the Navy and recommissioned, but kept a large civilian complement within the crew from the MSC. In 2004, the 7th Fleet command ship, USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19), went into dry dock and Coronado temporarily assumed 7th Fleet command responsibilities. On 27 September 2004, Blue Ridge returned to duty as the command ship.

Coronado was decommissioned at the end of Fiscal Year 2006.

On 12 September 2012, the Coronado was sunk by a number of warships, and now serves as an artificial reef for the Marianas region.[1][2] The ship now rests 3045 fathoms deep at coordinates 11°32′6″N 144°31′52″E / 11.53500°N 144.53111°E / 11.53500; 144.53111.[citation needed]

Commanding officersEdit

Commanding Officers of USS Coronado (LPD-11)/(AGF-11)[6]
Order Name Eventual Flag Rank Picture Assumed Command Relieved
1 Grant Joseph Walker   23 May 1970 13 August 1971
2 Sylvester Robert Foley, Jr. ADM   13 August 1971 30 May 1972
3 Martin Jerome Twite, Jr. 30 May 1972 2 June 1974
4 Eric Neil Fenno   2 June 1974 20 August 1975
5 James Madison Snyder 26 August 1975 26 May 1976
6 Robert Joseph Ianucci 26 May 1976 4 June 1976
7 Georges E. Le Blanc Jr. 4 June 1976 11 November 1977
8 Thomas Paul Scott 11 November 1977 1 June 1979
9 Denis Thomas Schwaab RADM 1 June 1979 13 December 1980
10 Harry Patrick Kober, Jr.   13 December 1980 19 December 1981
11 David Ervin Buck   19 December 1981 6 December 1982
12 Robert Harvey Fergussen 6 December 1982 1 June 1984
13 Earle Godfrey Schweizer Jr.   1 June 1984 23 September 1986
14 John Baptiste LaPlante VADM   23 September 1986 25 April 1988
15 Robert Charles Williamson, Jr. RADM   25 April 1988 1 July 1989
16 Richard Claggett Williams III RADM   1 July 1989 1 August 1991
17 Richard Jerome Nibe RADM   1 August 1991 3 April 1993
18 Thomas Francis Noonan   3 April 1993 30 July 1994
19 Isaac Eugene Richardson III RADM   30 July 1994 13 December 1995
20 Michael Harold Miller VADM   13 December 1995 16 June 1997
21 Thomas J. Ross   16 June 1997 11 December 1998
22 James Allen McDonell   11 December 1998 7 January 2000
23 Wade Carl Tallman 7 January 2000 3 May 2001
24 Ted Nelson (Twig) Branch VADM   3 May 2001 23 August 2002
25 Kevin Michael Donegan RADM   23 August 2002 14 November 2003
26 Kerry J. Porterfield (Military Sealift Command)   14 November 2003 19 February 2004
27 Christopher David Noble 19 February 2004 25 February 2005

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "U.S. Navy conducts SINKEX as part of Valiant Shield 2012". Pearl Harbor, Hawaii: Commander, United States Pacific Fleet. 12 September 2012. Retrieved 16 September 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Anderson, LTjg Benjamin T. (20 September 2012). "Valiant Shield 2012 Ends". San Diego, California: Commander Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet. Retrieved 26 September 2012. Joint live fire sank the ex-USS Coronado (AGF-11) in waters 18,270 feet deep, 102 nautical miles South of Guam at about 3:20 pm local time on Sept. 12. 
  3. ^ "Vocera Communications System". BUSINESS WIRE. 2 December 2003. Retrieved 13 September 2015. 
  4. ^ Casas, Q. Gemma (19 August 2010). "Mariana Islands Range Complex approved". newspaper. Marianas Variety. Retrieved 13 September 2015. 
  5. ^ "USS Coronado Returns Home". Commander, U.S. Third Fleet. 3 November 2004. In 1998, a large ship modification was completed. Incorporating the latest network technology, Coronado became the most advanced command ship in the world. 
  6. ^ "USS Coronado Commanding Officers". Nav Source Online. 

External linksEdit