Two Navy Ships are back home in San Diego

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cowpensspruance1This morning, the USS Spruance and the USS Cowpens made port at Naval Base San Diego. The ships had been on unrelated assignments, but both in the western area of the Pacific Ocean.

Both crews are back in their home port, having been gone for four months. The timing of the return was scheduled to allow the sailors to be with friends and family for the Easter holiday.

The 400 sailors on the Cowpens (CG-63), a Ticonderoga-class 567-foot long guided missile cruiser, last left port this past September. A month later, the crew was giving assistance to the Filipino residents most affected by the Haiyan super typhoon.cowpensspruance2

The ship carries the nickname “Mighty Moo”, and its unusal name commemorates a battle fought on January 17, 1781, during the American Revolution. A small group of colonials were able to withstand and eventually capture a much larger force of the British Army. The fighting occured in an area called the “Cowpens” in South Carolina. The ship was launched on its maiden voyage on March 11, 1989.

cowpensspruance3Meanwhile, the 509-foot USS Spruance (DDG-111), an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, with its 260 naval personnel, departed Naval Base San Diego in October 2013, on its assignment to both the East and South China Seas, the Yellow Sea, and the Singapore Strait. While there at the tip of the Malay peninsula, a sailor from the Philippines was rescued by the Spruance after falling overboard.

The Spruance was commissioned in 2012 and honors Admiral Raymond Spruance. He was a cruiser commander during and after the Second World War who worked closely with Admiral William Halsey and eventually followed Admiral Chester Nimitz as the commander of the Pacific Fleet. Sprunce went on to be the commandant of the Naval War College and then the U.S. ambassador to the Philippines.cowpensspruance4

Both ships were built at the Bath Iron Works shipyard, located on the Kennebec River in Bath, Maine.

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