Awarded: December 21, 1972
Laid down: February 22, 1975
CGN 40 - June 30, 1975
Launched: July 31, 1976
Commissioned: August 5, 1978
Decommissioned: July 28, 1997
Fate: disposed of by recycling;
nuclear-powered ship recycling program;
USS MISSISSIPPI (CGN 40)
made her first deployment in August 1981. MISSISSIPPI was escorting USS NIMITZ
(CVN 68) when F-14 fighters from that carrier shot down two Libyan fighter
jets. MISSISSIPPI was also called upon during that deployment to patrol off
the shore of Egypt after President Anwar Sadat was assassinated.
In 1982, Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, awarded MISSISSIPPI the
prestigious Battenberg Cup Award for being the best all-round ship in the
Atlantic Fleet. The same year, MISSISSIPPI earned the "Battle
In November 1982, the USS MISSISSIPPI departed Norfolk for her second Med
Cruise. Thanksgiving that year was celebrated while underway to the Med. Once
on station, the ship supported Libyan Freedom of Navigation operations
several times, spent Christmas of 1982 on patrol off Beirut in support of the
USMC element deployed to the Beirut Airport. The MISSISSIPPI was on the Gun
Line off Beirut when the US Embassy to Lebanon was attacked with a
terrorist's car bomb on April 18, 1983. The cruiser subsequently provided
NGFS target identification and location support to the Marines stationed at
the Beirut Airport, and became the only CGN ever to win the
"Hook-Em" award for ASW excellence for tracking a JULIETTE Class
soviet Submarine literally halfway across the Med. The crew of MISSISSIPPI
maintained contact on the submarine for over 48 hours straight. The cruiser
returned to Norfolk in late May of 1983.
Also in 1983, MISSISSIPPI received COMSIXTHFLT Battle Force "Top
Hand" Award, a Meritorious Unit Commendation, her fourth consecutive
excellent in the annual Operation Reactors Safeguards Examination, the Top
Hammer Award for top performance in Atlantic Fleet exercise operations, the
Old Crow Award for excellence and contributions in electronic warfare, and
her second consecutive "Battle Efficiency" Award.
In 1985, MISSISSIPPI earned her third consecutive "Battle
Efficiency" Award. This same year, she also received a second
Meritorious Unit Commendation for Operation SNAP LOCK.
In 1986, MISSISSIPPI was awarded the Golden Anchor Award for Navy Personnel
In 1987, MISSISSIPPI received the Silver Star as the runner-up for the Golden
In September 1987, MISSISSIPPI completed her first overhaul, which included
the latest improvements in her Combat Systems Suite, which greatly improved
the ship's ability to fight and win "war-at-sea."
Following exercises in the Caribbean in 1988, MISSISSIPPI deployed to the
Mediterranean from May to November 1989. During the deployment, MISSISSIPPI
provided support to Battle Force Sixth Fleet off the Coast of Lebanon in response
to the killing of Marine Corps Colonel Higgins by terrorists. In December,
MISSISSIPPI received her fourth "Battle Efficiency" Award.
During 1990, MISSISSIPPI completed three law enforcement operations in the
Caribbean, and in August of 1990, deployed as flagship for Commander,
Multi-National Maritime Interception Force (MIF) during Operations DESERT
SHIELD and DESERT STORM. She completed the seven- month deployment on 31
March 1991, thus setting the record for the ship with the longest operating tempo
in any given period. MISSISSIPPI provided Anti-Air Warfare (AAW) escort
services for USS NITRO (AE 25) through the Straits of Bab-El-Mandeb to the
Gulf of Aden. Upon completing her escort duties, MISSISSIPPI returned to the
Red Sea to launch Tomahawk Cruise Missiles at designated strategic and
military targets deep inside the country of Iraq.
From May 1991 until August 1992, MISSISSIPPI underwent a comprehensive
extended availability at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Virginia. During
this period, MISSISSIPPI received state-of-the-art New Threat Upgrade Combat
Systems Suite, which tremendously enhances MISSISSIPPI's ability to perform a
myriad of Anti-Air Warfare functions. MISSISSIPPI also received Tomahawk and
Harpoon system improvements, which increased her strike and Anti-Surface
From September 1992 - 1993, MISSISSIPPI participated in three Counter
Narcotic Operations in the Caribbean Theater. She also was awarded her fifth
"Battle Efficiency" Award. From October 1993 - November 1994,
MISSISSIPPI served two deployments to the Haitian Theater in support of
Operation SUPPORT DEMOCRACY.
In January of 1994, MISSISSIPPI was also awarded her second Golden Anchor
Award for Navy Personnel Retention.
Beginning November of 1994, MISSISSIPPI began an intense training cycle in
preparation for the March of 1995 Mediterranean deployment.