The U.S. Navy Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55) departed Naval Station Norfolk on deployment, Aug. 8. Prior to deploying, the ship completed rigorous basic, advanced and integrated phase training of the Optimized Fleet Response Plan with Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10 and Destroyer Squadron 26. Leyte Gulf joins the guided-missile destroyers USS Delbert D. Black (DDG 119) and USS Farragut (DDG 99) who departed Naval Station Mayport earlier this month as part of the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group. The ship’s crew is comprised of more than 40 officers and nearly 350 enlisted Sailors.
“We are excited to begin another chapter in the great legacy of Leyte Gulf alongside CSG-10 and the ships of Destroyer Squadron 26. I cannot state it more clearly: America’s Battle Cruiser is ready to go,” said Capt. Michael Weeldreyer, commanding officer of Leyte Gulf.
“The crew is well trained and eager to demonstrate and utilize the skills they possess in support of George H.W. Bush CSG’s mission. We are ready to sail over the horizon and then return safely to our families at the conclusion of what will certainly be a successful and safe deployment,” said Leyte Gulf Command Master Chief Jason Kutsch.
USS Leyte Gulf (CG-55) is a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser in the United States Navy. Leyte Gulf was commissioned Sept. 26, 1987, and commemorates the largest naval battle in modern history, fought Oct. 23-26, 1944. The Battle of Leyte Gulf was quintessential in turning the tides in the Pacific Fleet battle strategy during World War II and greatly impacted the Japanese’s ability to fight as an organized force. The ship served as flagship of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 for much of the deployment. The ship also served as flagship of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 for much of the deployment.
She is powered by four large gas-turbine engines, and she has a large complement of guided missiles for air defense, attack of surface targets at sea and ashore, and anti-submarine warfare (ASW). In addition, she carries two “Seahawk” LAMPS multi-purpose helicopters, whose primary mission is ASW. A detachment from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 46 will remain embarked aboard Leyte Gulf. Leyte Gulf is the Air and Missile Defense Commander for the George H.W. Bush CSG and delivers superior combat capability to deter, and if necessary, defeat America’s adversaries in support of national security.