CG 50 | USS VALLEY FORGE
The foundation of American Freedom was built in the Chester County, Pennsylvania area known as Valley Forge. It was a site of great victory by the Continental Army; not as an important battle victory, but a victory of the American spirit over cold and hunger.
General George Washington led his troops to winter encampment at Valley Forge on December 19, 1777. These men were poorly equipped and lacked discipline and military training. In the six months at Valley Forge they faced starvation and illness that claimed an estimated 3,000 men.
Through the mud and snow these men began to form an army. Through training and discipline they improved their marksmanship and rate of fire, just as AEGIS has done for the modern Navy. General Washington, with the help of the Prussian General Friedrich von Steuben, improved the discipline and formed an organized fighting force. Through adversity these men gained an important triumph. Theirs was a victory of the human spirit which set forth the standard that lives on as the "Spirit of America."
In the Chester County, Pennsylvania, area known as Valley Forge rests the foundation of freedom. It was there that General George Washington led a force of 12,500 men to winter encampment.
On December 19, 1777 when the force entered the encampment they were poorly equipped and lacked discipline and military training. In the six months in Valley Forge they faced starvation and illness that claimed an estimated 3,000 men.
But through the snow and mud they began to form an Army. Under the watchful eye of George Washington and Prussian General Friedrich von Steuben they began to train. They learned military tactics and discipline and they formed a chain of command.
On June 12, 1778 the Continental Army marched out of Valley Forge to engage the British army with a new born American spirit that led to victory.
USS VALLEY FORGE was built by Ingalls Shipbuilding Division of Litton Industries, Pascagoula, Mississippi and was commissioned on 18 January 1986. VALLEY FORGE is the second ship to bear the name and the fourth ship of the Ticonderoga Class of AEGIS guided missile cruisers.
In April 1987, VALLEY FORGE made her initial deployment to the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean. This was the first time an Aegis cruiser deployed with a Pacific Fleet Battle Group. While in the North Arabian Gulf, VALLEY FORGE conducted escort operations with reflagged Kuwaiti tankers in support of Operation Earnist Will. The ship deployed to the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean in December 1988.
In December 1990, VALLEY FORGE returned to the Arabian Gulf in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. As Anti-Air Warfare Commander for two battle groups, the ship provided protection to coalition ships deployed to the Arabian Gulf. In addition, VALLEY FORGE played a key role in the elimination of the Iraqi Navy as a threat to coalition forces.
In July 1992, VALLEY FORGE returned to the Pacific and Indian Oceans in support of Operation Southern Watch and Operation Restore Hope. Off the coast of Somalia, the ship acted as the Air Defense Zone Coordinator, Anti-Air Warfare Commander, and primary naval gunfire support ship.
VALLEY FORGE departed San Diego in April 1993 to conduct extended counter-narcotics operations. While deployed, the ship served in a coordinated air surveillance network that included our Air Force, Coast Guard, Drug Enforcement Agency, and Customs Department. The operations culminated in the seizure of five tons of cocaine from the motor vessel Sea Chariot.
From December 1994 until May 1995, VALLEY FORGE again deployed to the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea in support of counter-narcotics operations. The ship served as the Anti-Air Warfare Commander for the Joint Interagency task Force East, providing air traffic surveillance and coordinated joint drug-interdiction efforts.
In August 1995, VALLEY FORGE transited to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to participate in "Cooperation from the Sea "95," the first combined U.S.-Russian exercise to take place on American Soil, and the Commemoration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the end of World War II with Russian, Canadian, New Zealand, and Australian naval units.
In August 1996, VALLEY FORGE conducted a Middle East Force deployment with extensive operations in the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Southern Watch. While in the Arabian Gulf, VALLEY FORGE conducted carrier escort duties, acted as Air, Surface and Subsurface Coordinator, and detained and boarded numerous Iraqi sanction violators. VALLEY FORGE returned to San Diego in February after port visits to Manila, Singapore, Bahrain, Muscat, Bali, Perth, Sydney, New Caledonia and Pearl Harbor.
In April of 2000, VALLEY FORGE conducted Counter Drug Operations in the Southern Pacific. Working in conjuntion with the Coast Guard, VALLEY FORGE seized approximately two and a half tons of cocaine. VALLEY FORGE returned in September after prot visits to Acapulco, Panama, Equador, Puerto Vallarta, Cartegena, Mayport, Aruba, and Curacao.
USS VALLEY FORGE completed in mid-2001 its installation of a new integrated control system which utilizes the Navy's advanced smart ship technology, and is designed to provide an improved command and control system throughout the entire ship and in nearly every mission area.
coat of arms emblazoned upon a white oval enclosed within a blue collar
edged on the outer side with gold chain and inscribed with the words
"USS VALLEY FORGE" at the top and "CG 50" on base, all in gold.