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Norfolk-based USS Monterey is decommissioned

A decommissioning ceremony for the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser was held Friday, celebrating 32 years of service in the U.S. Navy.

NORFOLK, Va. — The crew of the Navy guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) said goodbye to their warship in a decommissioning ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk.

Plankowners, including the ship's first commanding officer as well as former crew members, celebrated the Monterey's distinguished 32-year history of naval service on September 16.

Just last year, the Monterey assisted in the evacuation of more than 124,000 civilians from Afghanistan. The year before in 2020, the Monterey was named the best surface ship in the Navy.

But Navy leaders have testified to Congress that modernizing Ticonderoga-class cruisers like the Monterey are too costly and take too long.

Congress has authorized the decommissioning of five cruisers this year. The plan has been criticized by House members Rob Wittman (R, VA-01) and Elaine Luria (D, VA-02).

The Monterey was commissioned in 1990 and had called Naval Station Norfolk its homeport. Three previous ships have bared the name Monterey.

The ship will be towed on November 11 -- Veterans Day -- to the Navy's inactive fleet shipyard in Philadelphia.

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