CG 54 | USS ANTIETAM
The Battle of Antietam
USS ANTIETAM is the third ship named after the Civil War battle fought along Antietam Creek, near Sharpsburg, Maryland. The first ANTIETAM was a sailing sloop constructed in 1864 that served as a sailing stores ship. The second ANTIETAM (CV-36) was the first aircraft carrier to be fitted with an angled deck, and was re-classified CVS 36 for anti-submarine duty.
Today's USS ANTIETAM (CG-54) was commissioned in Baltimore, Maryland on 6 June 1987. ANTIETAM then steamed through the Panama Canal to her first homeport in Long Beach, California. ANTIETAM's initial deployment, beginning in September 1988, took her to the Arabian Gulf where she escorted Kuwaiti tankers as part of Operation EARNEST WILL. Following the ship's first full competitive cycle, she was awarded the Battle "E" and the LAMPS MK III Safety Award. ANTIETAM departed on her second deployment in June 1990. A full schedule of Pacific operations was cut short by the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait on 2 August. ANTIETAM entered the Arabian Gulf on 6 August, and assumed duties as Anti-Air Warfare Commander for Middle East Force, serving during the early turbulent days of Operation DESERT SHIELD.
For her second deployment, ANTIETAM was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation and the Southwest Asia Defense Medal. ANTIETAM received another Battle "E" and the Spokane Trophy for Combat Systems Excellence.
In January of 1992, ANTIETAM again deployed to the Western Pacific, this time for a series of bilateral exercises with regional allies. She conducted joint operations with the Japanese, Singapore and Brunei Navies, and visited ten cities in eight countries. After winning the Navy-wide 1993 Captain Edward F. Ney Award for Food Service Excellence, ANTIETAM departed in February 1994 on her fourth deployment, again to the Arabian Gulf. She participated in Operation SOUTHERN WATCH and hosted many ambassadors and diplomats in the Gulf and Australia.
Returning from deployment, ANTIETAM completed her first regular overhaul in Long Beach, and in late 1995, she switched homeports to San Diego, California. She was awarded the Battle "E" and four of four area awards for the 1995 competitive cycle. In May and June 1996, ANTIETAM participated in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC-96) Exercise, which included numerous U.S. and foreign naval units in the largest naval exercise ever.
In April 1997, ANTIETAM returned from the Arabian Gulf, completing her fifth deployment, this time with the USS KITTY HAWK Battle Group. She participated in Operations SOUTHERN WATCH and VIGILENT SENTINAL, and conducted exercises with the English, French, and South Korean Navies. The ship again won four of four area excellence awards including a fleet-leading eight consecutive red Engineering "E" for excellence. In the middle of 1997, ANTIETAM received the Chief of Naval Operation's Safety Award for Pacific Fleet Cruisers.
During June 1998 ANTIETAM participated in a second Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise. Later that year she deployed for the sixth time to the Western Pacific, making port calls in Singapore, Thailand, Bahrain, The United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, and Australia before returning home to San Diego in May 1999.
In May of 2000 ANTIETAM participated in a Counter-Narcotics deployment aimed at stemming the flow of illegal drugs into the United States. The highly successful four-month deployment set new standards for counter drug operations and provided the crew with port visits to Mazatlan, Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta, and Cabo San Lucas. Upon returning to San Diego, ANTIETAM was again awarded the Battle "E" for excellence and began work-ups for her seventh Western Pacific deployment in July 2001.
In February 2001, ANTIETAM underwent the three-week long intensive pre-deployment workup COMPTUEX. COMPTUEX represented the first time that ANTIETAM operated with the other ships in the USS CARL VINSON (CVN 70) battle group with which she would be deploying. In April, ANTIETAM went through INSURV and successfully completed both the underway portion and the open and inspect phase. The inspection is a comprehensive review mandated by Congress to ensure that all Navy ships are properly maintained. It also serves to identify any problems that could limit a ship's ability to continue in service for the length of its intended life span.
In May, ANTIETAM took part in the JTFX exercise along the CARL VINSON battle group. It deployed with that Battle Group on 26 July. The first stop of the deployment was Lualualei, Hawaii, home of Pearl Harbor's Naval Magazine where ANTIETAM completed her ammunition onload with the addition of Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missiles. Following this, ANTIETAM proceeded to Singapore and then to Phuket, Thailand. On the way to Singapore, ANTIETAM participated in a PASSEX with the Royal Singaporean Navy.
ANTIETAM was transitting with the CARL VINSON battle group to the Arabian Gulf when the 11 September terrorist attacks on the United States took place. The battle group immediately took station in the North Arabian Sea, prepared for action. On 15 September, ANTIETAM and USS O'KANE (DDG 77) were detached to transit through the Strait of Hormuz to conduct Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO) in the North Arabian Gulf, enforcing United Nations sanctions imposed on Iraq. ANTIETAM's two Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) teams inspected over 125 vessels for contraband oil and other cargo entering or leaving Iraq.
ANTIETAM was designated to provide air defense for the annual meeting of the World Trade Organization held in Quatar in November. During this time, ANTIETAM operated in a Modified Location box with the PELELIU Amphibious Ready Group.
ANTIETAM was detached to proceed to Mumbai, India on 17 November, 2001. During the transit through the Strait of Hormuz ANTIETAM was turned around to assist with the Search and Rescue (SAR) efforts as a result of the loss of two crewmembers from USS PETERSON (DD 969). On 15 December ANTIETAM and O'KANE pulled into Mumbai, India. The port visit was a significant public relations event and received a great deal of positive media coverage in India. ANTIETAM departed India and proceeded to Singapore on 18 December, on her route home.
Dark blue and gold are the
traditional colors associated with the Navy and symbolize the sea and
excellence. The trident, symbol of sea power, represents the ANTIETAM's
capabilities in the three dimensions of naval warfare: air, surface and
subsurface. The broken chain symbolizes the Emancipation Proclamation,
the most positive outcome of the Civil War Battle of Antietam. The red
field refers to the sacrifice and heroism of the battle, the single
bloodiest day of the Civil War. The Burnside Bridge is the
battlefield's best known landmark. The two gold stars represent the
aircraft carrier USS ANTIETAM (CVS 36) which earned two battle stars
for its service in the Korean conflict.