BROWNSVILLE, Texas — A contract to recycle an out-of-service U.S. Navy guided-missile cruiser has been awarded to International Shipbreaking Limited LLC., one of the world’s largest green ship recycling companies, MarineLink reported on Sept. 29.
The USS Ticonderoga (CG 47), decommissioned in 2004, concluded its final voyage last week to the Port of Brownsville, Texas, where full dismantling will commence with 98% of all removed materials being recycled. The recycling work, which requires complete demilitarization of the entire ship, is scheduled to be completed in 2021.
Ticonderoga was built at Ingalls Shipbuilding, in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and delivered to the Navy on Dec. 13, 1982. The warship was the lead vessel of the Ticonderoga class of guided-missile cruisers and was the fifth ship in U.S. Navy history to bear the name.
The ship provided naval gunfire support off the coast of Lebanon on its maiden voyage in 1984. In 1986, it served as the lead ship crossing the “Line of Death” off the coast of Libya and removed surface-to-air missile batteries that had launched a SA-5 missile against an F-14 from USS America (CV 66). It was assigned to the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) Battle Group and participated in: Operation Desert Shield in 1990, Operation Southern Watch (the enforcement of the no-fly zone over Iraq) and Operation Deny Flight, (the U.N.-mandated no-fly zone over Bosnia) in 1995. From 2001 to 2004, Ticonderoga participated in security and counter-narcotics operations out of homeport Pascagoula. Following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, she got underway the next day at 8 a.m. to support Operation Noble Eagle (protecting airspace along the Gulf Coast).
“We take great pride in having been awarded the Defense Logistics Agency contract to recycle this historic vessel,” said Chris Green, senior manager at International Shipbreaking Ltd. “The USS Ticonderoga has significant sentimental meaning to the men and women who served our country and spent a part of their lives with her. She will be recycled in a safe, respectful and environmentally responsible manner.”
International Shipbreaking Ltd., part of EMR Metal Recycling, has three specialist facilities located in Brownsville, Texas; New Orleans and Amelia, Louisiana. These specialized facilities have recycled more than 400 ships and marine structures including USS Tripoli (LPH 10), USS Constellation (CV 64), USS Ranger (CV 61) and USS Independence (CV 62). The USS Cape Florida (AK 5071) currently is being recycled.