USS Coronado (AGF-11)
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.
USS Coronado in 1998
|Namesake:||City of Coronado, California|
|Ordered:||15 May 1964|
|Laid down:||3 May 1965|
|Launched:||30 July 1966|
|Commissioned:||23 May 1970|
|Decommissioned:||30 September 2006|
|Refit:||1980 (Conversion from LPD to AGF)|
|Homeport:||NAVSTA San Diego, California, U.S.|
|Motto:||Semper Ductor (Always a Leader)|
|Fate:||Sunk as part of live-fire exercise Valiant Shield 2012.|
|Status:||3,045 fathoms (5,569 m) deep at citation needed][|
|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|
|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.
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.
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.
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
- 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. The ship now rests 3045 fathoms deep at coordinates .
|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|
This group of sailors were plankowner members of the OE Division of the Coronado. Photo taken in 1972. Pictured are... Back Left-to-right: William Enzweiler, Harry Tiel, Vic Barish, Ron Mueller, Paul Ackerman, Doug Chirhart, ET1 Young. Middle: David Kilpatrick. Front Left-to-Right: Leslie Gaiter, Frank Hunter, Bill Bobbing, Ron "Gomer" Pyle.
Flagships USS La Salle (Left) and Coronado (right) moored in Bahrain in 1980. Coronado was relieving LaSalle as the flagship for the Commander, Middle East Force (now called United States Naval Forces Central Command). Due to the nature of U.S. flagships individually covering large geographic areas, it was a rare occurrence for both ships to be in the same port.
This large bronze plaque hung on the quarterdeck of the Coronado for decades. The year 1970 indicates the year the ship was commissioned. The year 1943 indicates the year the previous ship of the same name, USS Coronado (PF-38) was commissioned. It also lists four operations during the Second World War in which the earlier ship was engaged. The current whereabouts of the plaque are unknown and it is feared to have been scrapped.
USS Coronado (left) participates in underway replenishment with USS John A. Moore on 1 April 1988.
A close-up view of twin Mark 33, 3"/50 caliber gun guns aboard Coronado. These guns were removed from the ship in 1992.
Change of Command ceremony of USS Coronado (AGF-11) on 3 April 1993 aboard the ship while moored at Pier J, Naval Air Station North Island on San Diego Bay. Captain Thomas Noonan (saluting left) relieved Captain Richard Nibe (saluting right) while Vice Admiral Jerry L. Unruh (seated left), the Commander Third Fleet, Commodore Thomas Hopson (standing right), Commander Amphibious Group Three, and the ship's executive officer, Commander Charles Eis (seated right) observe.
USS Coronado, at Pier Juliet, Naval Air Station North Island, October 1994. San Diego–Coronado Bridge in the distance.
Lt. Cmdr. Romelda Sadiarin giving a tour of USS Coronado to students from the Philippine Navy's Naval Education and Training Command. Coronado was making a scheduled port visit.The ship was serving as the temporary command ship for U.S. Seventh Fleet while USS Blue Ridge was in a scheduled dry dock maintenance period. April 2004.
USS Coronado sits in Shimoda Bay, in full dress ship on 14 May 2004.
- "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.
- 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.
- "Vocera Communications System". BUSINESS WIRE. 2 December 2003. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
- Casas, Q. Gemma (19 August 2010). "Mariana Islands Range Complex approved". newspaper. Marianas Variety. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
- "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.
- "USS Coronado Commanding Officers". Nav Source Online.