BROWNSVILLE — The Navy’s first guided missile destroyer, the USS Charles F. Adams (DDG 2), was one of two decommissioned U.S. warships that arrived at the Port of Brownsville last month for dismantling and recycling by International Shipbreaking LLC/EMR Group.
The Charlie Deuce, as it was nicknamed, served as the flagship for surveillance of Soviet submarines in the North Atlantic during the Cold War and conducted space flight recovery operations in 1962 as part of NASA’s Project Mercury, and engaged in quarantine and surveillance operations related to the Cuban missile crisis in 1962.
The Adams, which launched from the Bath Iron Works in Maine in 1959 and was decommissioned in 1990, made 10 deployments to the Mediterranean, two to the Middle East and one to the Indian Ocean. The vessel was berthed at the Navy’s inactive ship yard in Philadelphia until departing under tow for Brownsville in August. The ship was named for Charles Francis Adams III, Secretary of the Navy from 1929 to 1933.
International Shipbreaking Senior Manager Chris Green said the company welcomed the Adams “with great pride,” adding, “it’s an honor to work on a ship with such an impressive service to her country.”
The former guided missile cruiser USS Ticonderoga (CG 47), or “Tico,” also arrived at the port last month for dismantling. It was the fifth Navy ship named for the Capture of Fort Ticonderoga in 1775 by forces under Gen. George Washington. The vessel was launched in 1981 from Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss., decommissioned in 2004 and mothballed in Philadelphia until being towed to Brownsville.
The ship served in the Persian Gulf in the late 1980s and was assigned to the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) Battle Group, participating in Operation Desert Shield in 1990, Operation Southern Watch in Iraq and Operation Deny Flight in Bosnia in 1995. The Ticonderoga took part in security and counter-narcotics efforts from 2001 to 2004 out of its home port of Pascagoula. After 9/11 the ship was deployed to support Operation Noble Eagle, protecting the airspace along the Gulf Coast.
Green said the Ticonderoga “has significant sentimental meaning to the men and women who served our country and spent a part of their lives with her,” adding that “she will be recycled in a safe, respectful and environmentally responsible manner.”
Dismantling of both ships is expected to be completed sometime next year.