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Philippine Sea II (CG-58)


A battle fought from 18-21 June 1944.

The second ship named Philippine Sea. The first Philippine Sea (CV-47), an aircraft carrier, served from 1946-1969.


(CG-58: displacement 9,600; length 567'; beam 55'; draft 33'; speed 30+ knots; complement 363; armament 2 5-inch, 2 Mk 41 Vertical Launch Systems (VLS) for BGM-109 Tomahawks, RIM-66 SM-2MR Standards, and RUM-139 VL-ASROC Antisubmarine Rockets, 8 RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missile canister launchers, 2 Mk 15 Close In Weapon Systems (CIWS), 4 .50 caliber machine guns, and 6 Mk 46 torpedoes, aircraft 2 Sikorsky SH-60B Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) Mk III Seahawks; class Ticonderoga)

The second Philippine Sea (CG-58) was laid down on 8 May 1986 at Bath, Maine, by Bath Iron Works; launched on 12 July 1987; sponsored by Mrs. Renee W. C. Lyons, wife of Adm. James A. Lyons Jr., Commander-in-Chief Pacific Fleet; and commissioned on 18 March 1989, Capt. Andrew J. Combe in command.

On 7 October 2001, aircraft carriers Carl Vinson (CVN-70) and Enterprise (CVN-65) launched about 25 jets, supported by 15 USAF jets, while multiple ships and submarines fired approximately 50 BGM-109 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMs), in the first coalition strikes of the Global War on Terrorism against al-Qaeda terrorists and Taliban Islamic extremists within Afghanistan. Those aircraft and missiles struck 40 target areas including aircraft on the ground, airfields, antiaircraft and surface-to-air missile batteries and radar sites, command and control nodes, and training camps. Philippine Sea fired four TLAMs during these opening strikes. Critics questioned the raids on the camps because al-Qaeda had largely abandoned the facilities, but the assaults destroyed terrorist infrastructure.

Philippine Sea (CG-58) II 1989-030921-N-5471P-002
Philippine Sea glides through a calm sea while she works up prior to deploying, 21 September 2003. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Aaron Peterson, U.S. Navy Photograph 030921-N-5471P-002, Navy NewsStand)

Allied forces seized three dhows and 33 drug smugglers who supported al-Qaeda terrorists (15-20 December 2003). Guided missile destroyer Decatur (DDG-73) intercepted a dhow and detained her 12 crewmen following the discovery of 54 bags of hashish valued at almost $10 million, on 15 December. Three days later a New Zealand Lockheed P-3K Orion located two suspicious dhows and worked with Australian, British, and U.S. aircraft to track the boats across the Northern Arabian Sea. Philippine Sea, backed-up by a British Royal Air Force Aerospace MR.2 Nimrod, intercepted the dhows and seized 21 smugglers, 150-pounds of methamphetamines, and a 35 and 50 pound bag of heroin, on 20 December. Analysts also utilized video footage taken by a P-3C from Patrol Squadron (VP) 47 to verify the activities of the smugglers.

Philippine Sea (CG-58) II 1989-031220-N-0000X-001
Philippine Sea’s boarders seize one of the dhows and her smugglers in the Northern Arabian Sea, 20 December 2003. (Unattributed U.S. Navy Photograph 031220-N-0000X-001, Navy NewsStand)
Philippine Sea (CG-58) II 1989-101024-N-3885H-054
Sailors lean with Philippine Sea as she performs high speed rudder checks while training with the George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) Carrier Strike Group in the Atlantic, 24 October 2010. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nicholas Hall, U.S. Navy Photograph 101024-N-3885H-054, Navy NewsStand)

Brilliante Virtuoso, a 144,000-ton Marshalls Island-owned, Liberian-flagged, crude [oil] carrier, issued a distress call that she was under attack by pirates and on fire while steaming easterly courses from the Suez Canal through the Gulf of Aden, approximately 20 nautical miles southwest of Aden, Yemen, at 1530 on 6 July 2011. The fire spread out of control and the mariners abandoned ship. Philippine Sea operated under Combined Maritime Forces in the region and responded. The cruiser’s crewmembers spotted smoke rising from the ship, but no immediate evidence of a pirate attack, and rescued all 26 Filipino castaways from their life raft.

Philippine Sea (CG-58) II 1989-110706-N-ZZ999-063
Sailors from Philippine Sea approach the castaways’ life raft while Brilliante Virtuoso burns in the background, 6 July 2011. (Chief Intelligence Specialist Raynald Lenieux, U.S. Navy Photograph 110706-N-ZZ999-063, Navy NewsStand)

Philippine Sea buried the cremated remains of astronaut Lt. j.g. Neil A. Armstrong, USNR, in the Atlantic Ocean on 14 September 2012. The ship deployed in company with aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) and three vessels, including guided missile destroyers Roosevelt (DDG-80) and Truxtun (DDG-103), to the Mediterranean, Red Sea, North Arabian Sea, and Arabian Gulf (15 February-15 November 2014). Philippine Sea primarily carried out maritime security operations and theater cooperation operations. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) advances across Iraq and Syria in 2014, however, compelled the coalition to launch strikes to destroy the Islamic extremist organization. On 8 August therefore, George H.W. Bush launched armed close air support and intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance missions that supported thousands of American servicemembers and civilians consolidating in Baghdad against the ISIL advance. Philippine Sea and guided missile destroyer Arleigh Burke (DDG-51), steaming in the North Arabian Gulf and Red Sea, respectively, fired 47 BGM-109 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMs) during these initial strikes, the devastating combination of air and missile strikes slowing the ISIL thrust in northern and central Iraq. The U.S.-led coalition gradually expanded these battles to contain ISIL, subsequently designating the fighting as Operation Inherent Resolve.

Detailed history under construction.

Mark L. Evans

2 December 2014

Published: Thu Aug 20 09:26:08 EDT 2015