Monday, April 8, 2013
The USS Cowpens - a.k.a "the Mighty MOO" - is slated to return to San Diego today after spending more than a decade forward deployed to Japan. The guided-missile cruiser recently completed a hull swap with the USS Antietam:
Hull swaps, or ship rotations, are part of the Navy's long-term plan to routinely replace older ships with newer more capable ships.
Since 2000, the Cowpens has been forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan. During the infamous Japanese earthquake and tsunami of 2011, the Cowpens took part Operation Tomodachi, providing a helping hand to victims of the devastation.
USS Cowpens Commanding Officer Capt. Robert Tortora explained what his ship's crew has been up to in recent months:
"After spending most of 2012 preparing USS Antietam for forward operations, the crew conducted a professional and well-executed turnover with Cowpens this February, and then worked diligently to learn the differences between the two hulls and how to operate Cowpens at sea. I am very proud of the efforts of all hands to first make Antietam ready and then make themselves fully mission capable in Cowpens."