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Shiloh II (CG-67)


Confederate troops under General Albert S. Johnston, CSA, surprised advancing Union soldiers commanded by Major General Ulysses S. Grant, USA, at Pittsburgh Landing, Tenn., on 6 and 7 April 1862. The battle temporarily halted General Grant’s invasion of the South, and is usually called the Battle of Shiloh because of the nearby Shiloh Church.

The first ship named Shiloh. Monitor Iris was laid down as Shiloh in 1863 but work on her continued sporadically and she was laid up following the Civil War, renamed Iris on 15 June 1869, and served only briefly in 1874.

(CG-67: 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 32 torpedo tubes, aircraft 2 Sikorsky SH-60B Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) Mk III Seahawks; class Ticonderoga)

Shiloh (CG-67) was laid down on 1 August 1989 at Bath, Maine, by Bath Iron Works; launched on 8 September 1990; sponsored by Mrs. Patricia A. Ball, wife of Secretary of the Navy William L. Ball III; and commissioned on 18 July 1992, Capt. Bayard W. Russell in command.

In response to Saudi émigré Usama bin Lāden’s two fatāwās (Islamic legal pronouncements), in which he instructed Muslims to kill Americans, al-Qaeda terrorists detonated truck bombs at the U.S. Embassies at Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, killing at least 301 people including 12 Americans, and injuring an estimated 5,000 victims, on 7 August 1998. On 20 August, the U.S. launched Operation Infinite Reach [Resolute Response], two simultaneous retaliatory raids in response to the twin al-Qaeda attacks.

Guided missile cruisers Cowpens (CG-63) and Shiloh, destroyer Elliott (DD-967) and guided missile destroyer Milius (DDG-69), and attack submarine Columbia (SSN-771), operating with the Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) Carrier Battle Group in the North Arabian Sea, fired 73 TLAMs at the Zhawar Kili al-Badr terrorist training and support complex, located 30 miles southwest of Khowst, Afghanistan. Destroyers Briscoe (DD-977) and Hayler (DD-997), steaming in the Red Sea, launched six more TLAMs against the al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant near Khartoum, Sudan. Intelligence analysts suspected the plant of having ties to bin Lāden, and of manufacturing precursor chemicals for the deadly VX series of nerve gas. The Sudanese and critics claimed that the plant did not produce VX.

Additional ships involved in these actions included amphibious assault ship Essex (LHD-2), dock landing ship Anchorage (LSD-36), and amphibious transport dock Duluth (LPD-6), with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit embarked. Forward deployed Lockheed EP-3E Aries IIs of Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron (VQ) 1 and P-3C Orions of Patrol Squadron (VP) 9 operated as part of Task Force 57. The attacks killed at least 11 terrorists. Abraham Lincoln evaluated the “pivotal” role of her command, control, communications, computers, and information suite in the two simultaneous operations on two separate continents, and in the dissemination of the initial battle damage assessment.

Shiloh deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom I and on the night of 21 March 2003, she joined 29 other U.S. and British ships and submarines that fired TLAMs against Iraqi military targets.

Shiloh (CG-67) 1992-041221-N-1229B-038
Shiloh steams ahead during a surge deployment to the Western Pacific, 21 December 2004. (Photographer’s Mate Airman Patrick M. Bonafede, U.S. Navy Photograph 041221-N-1229B-038, Navy NewsStand)

On 26 December 2004, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake occurred off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, triggering a tsunami across the Indian Ocean littoral that killed more than 230,000 people. Combined Support Force 536 coordinated Operation Unified Assistance, multinational relief efforts. United States naval forces often reached disaster zones before aid agencies, and aircraft delivered supplies and emergency responders to otherwise inaccessible inland areas. On 1 January 2005, four Sikorsky SH-60B Seahawks from Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron Light (HSL) 47 and some SH-60Fs and HH-60Hs of Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron (HS) 2, embarked on board Abraham Lincoln, began to ferry supplies from collection points in Sumatra to victims. Shiloh operated as the air defense commander for the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group during Unified Assistance. More than 100 of the ship’s crewmembers volunteered to help load supplies onto helicopters at Banda Aceh airport for transportation inland. Her embarked Seahawk, of HSL-47 Combat Element 3, flew repeated missions into the remote interior, and two sailors organized a clothing and stuffed animal drive that resulted in delivering over 100 pounds of clothing and stuffed animals to the victims.

Reinforcements at times included amphibious assault ships Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) and Essex (LHD-2), Lockheed P-3C Orions of Patrol Squadrons (VPs) 4 and 8, Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30, Helicopter Combat Support Squadron (HC) 11, four Sikorsky MH-53E Sea Dragons from Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM) 15 Detachment 2, six Boeing Vertol CH-46E Sea Knights from Okinawa, two MH-60Ss from HC-5, embarked on board combat store ship Niagara Falls (T-AFS-3), Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 352, and a USCG HC-130H Hercules. Despite earthquake aftershocks these aircraft flew 1,747 missions, transported 3,043 passengers, and delivered 5.92 million-pounds of supplies to people in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. Abraham Lincoln came about from Indonesian waters on 3 February, and 11 days later the force ceased relief operations.

Shiloh shot down a target simulating a ballistic missile with a RIM-161 Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) during a ballistic missile defense exercise while steaming in Hawaiian waters, at about noon on 22 June 2006. The pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands, Kauai, Hi., fired the target missile, and Shiloh’s Ballistic Missile Defense 3.6 Weapon System detected and tracked the target, developing a “fire control solution.” Within four minutes, the ship fired her Standard, which intercepted and splashed the “intruder” at an altitude of more than 100 miles.

Thirty-year-old Electrician’s Mate 1st Class Christopher Geathers, of Greenpond, S.C., fell overboard from Shiloh’s fantail while rigging shore power cables as the ship sailed through Tokyo Bay, Japan, shortly after 1300 on 8 July 2009. Shiloh had just completed a midshipman cruise to Kure and sailed toward Yokosuka when Geathers went over the side. Two U.S. Navy tugboats, a pair of SH-60B Seahawks, Japanese Coast Guard cutter Hamanami (PC.16) and two Eurocopter AS.332L1 Super Pumas, and the Maritime Self-Defense Force rendered assistance to Shiloh during the unsuccessful search and rescue.

Detailed history under construction.

Mark L. Evans

22 September 2014

Published: Wed Sep 09 12:46:01 EDT 2015