|USS Coronado (AGF-11)|
The USS Coronado (AGF-11) underway, after her 3 inch guns were removed in 1991.
|Namesake:||City of Coronado|
|Operator:||United States Navy|
|Ordered:||15 May 1964|
|Laid down:||3 May 1965|
|Launched:||30 July 1966|
|Commissioned:||23 May 1970|
|Decommissioned:||30 September 2006|
|Renamed:||USS Coronado (LPD-11)|
|Homeport:||NAVSTA San Diego, California, U.S.|
|Fate:||Sunk as part of live-fire exercise Valiant Shield 2012.|
|Status:||3045 fathoms deep at citation needed][|
|Class & 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 men and women|
USS Coronado (LPD/AGF-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 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.
The USS Coronado remained homeported in Hawaii until August 1991, when crew and staff changed homeports to San Diego.
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 Lab
In October 2000, 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 disposal
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 .
- "U.S. Navy conducts SINKEX as part of Valiant Shield 2012". Pearl Harbor, Hawaii: Commander, United States Pacific Fleet. 12 September 2012. http://www.cpf.navy.mil/news.aspx/080088. 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. http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/Pages/ValiantShield2012Ends.aspx. 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."
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