Keel Laid: July 24, 1985 Launched: November 14, 1986 Commissioned: January 23, 1988 Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding, West Bank, Pascagoula, Miss. Propulsion system: four General Electric LM 2500 gas turbine engines Propellers: two Blades on each Propeller: five Length: 567 feet (173 meters) Beam: 55 feet (16.8 meters) Draft: 34 feet (10.2 meters) Displacement: approx. 9,600 tons full load Speed: 30+ knots Cost: about $1 billion Aircraft: two SH-60 Sea Hawk (LAMPS 3) Armament: Mk 41 VLS for Standard missiles, Tomahawk, ASROC; Mk 46 torpedoes, Harpoon missile launchers, two Mk 45 5-inch/54 caliber lightweight guns, two Phalanx CIWS, two Mk 38 Mod 2 25mm machine gun systems Homeport: Norfolk, Va. Crew: 33 Officers, 27 Chief Petty Officers and approx. 340 Enlisted
USS SAN JACINTO’s construction began on 5 October 1984, and her keel was laid on 24 July 1985. She was launched on 14 November 1986, and christened 24 January 1987 by her sponsor Dr. Wendy Lee Gramm, wife of Senator Phil Gramm of Texas. SAN JACINTO was commissioned on 23 January 1988 by the Vice President George Bush in Houston, Texas. In the seven years since her commissioning, SAN JACINTO has won all major awards. These include the Battenburg Cup, recognizing her as the best ship in the Atlantic Fleet, and three Battle Efficiency Awards for the best AEGIS cruiser in the Atlantic Fleet. She has won, and been a subsequent runner-up, in the Atlantic Fleet Golden Anchor competition, recognizing her superior quality of life and retention programs. Other awards include the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Navy Unit Commendation, and the Meritorious Unit Commendation. SAN JACINTO has distinguished herself by a 1989 Mediterranean deployment, where she provided the strike warfare capability supporting the first Mediterranean aircraft carrier gap in recent history. In August 1990, SAN JACINTO deployed with only five day's notice for OPERATION DESERT SHIELD, where she served as Red Sea Battle Force Anti- Air Warfare Commander and launched the first Tomahawk Cruise missiles ever fired in combat during the opening salvos of OPERATION DESERT STORM. In 1992, SAN JACINTO circumnavigated South America during UNITAS XXXIII, a multi-national naval exercise. Many of the littoral warfare tactical initiatives developed during UNITAS were later refined during BALTOPS '93 exercises, when SAN JACINTO embarked the first-ever LAMPS SH-60B and SH-60F combined detachment. SAN JACINTO deployed to the Mediterranean and Red Sea in 1994 as part of the USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73) Battle Group. During her 69 days in the Adriatic Sea, she enforced the "No-Fly Zone" over Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the U.N. sanctioned arms embargo. When Saddam Hussein sent his forces once again towards Kuwait in October, SAN JACINTO responded rapidly, taking Tomahawk Strike station in the Red Sea, just as she had three years earlier. In 1996, SAN JACINTO again deployed to the Mediterranean and Red Seas as part of the USS GEORGE WASHINGTON Battle Group. While there, she participated in joint operations with the Russian Navy, and distinguished herself during rescue operations of the merchant ship SAUDI HOFFUF. She ended the deployment with her first extended shipyard overhaul period. In 1998, SAN JACINTO deployed with the USS JOHN C. STENNIS to the Arabian Gulf. Following a 16-day transit, SAN JACINTO served as the Air Warfare Commander for the USS JOHN C. STENNIS Battle Group and Regional Air Warfare Commander for the Arabian Gulf. Additional taskings included as part of Operation Southern Watch and Maritime Interdiction Operations in support of UN Resolutions and sanctions against Iraq, defense of the JOHN C. STENNIS as "Shotgun Cruiser", and a rescue at sea of a Turkish merchant vessel. Upon its return home, and with the JOHN C. STENNIS’ move to the West Coast, USS SAN JACINTO was reassigned to the USS HARRY S. TRUMAN Battle Group. In its available inter-deployment time, USS SAN JACINTO went to New York City for Fleet Week ’99. USS SAN JACINTO deployed in late November 2000, for six months to the Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Southern Watch. Prior to that deployment, the cruiser took part in Joint Task Force exercise 01-1 and NATO exercise Unified Spirit 2000. As the Air Warfare Commander and only AEGIS cruiser in the HARRY S. TRUMAN Battle Group, SAN JACINTO used its SPY-1 Radar and command and control communications suite to help maintain regional stability through the enforcement of the Iraqi Southern ‘No-Fly’ zone and the conduct of Maritime Interception Operations in the Northern Arabian Gulf. It returned to its homeport of Norfolk, Virginia in late May 2001. In December 2002, SAN JACINTO deployed to the Mediterranean and Red Sea as the Air Defense Commander (ADC) for HARRY S. TRUMAN (CVN 75) and later during Operation Iraqi Freedom to include the USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN 71) Strike Group. As ADC, SAN JACINTO was responsible for defending the ships of Task Force Sixty against air or missile attack and management of air traffic within an extremely confined area as two aircraft carriers conducted flight operations around the clock. From March 15 to March 28, SAN JACINTO operated in the Red Sea, supporting the Commander, United States Fifth Fleet. It was during her Red Sea Operations that SAN JACINTO fired 29 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles against targets in Iraq - the most missiles launched by any ship in the Red Sea. The ship’s boarding teams conducted a series of inspections designed to ensure that vessels were not involved in the support of Al Quaeda or other terrorist organizations, and to deter other vessels from offering terrorists safe haven or support. The ship returned from the extremely successful deployment May 23, 2003.