After 30 years of dedicated service, the US Navy has decided to decommission its Ticonderoga-class cruisers.

Ticonderoga Class Cruiser
Ticonderoga Class Cruiser

In September of 1993, Ingalls Shipbuilding in Norfolk, Virginia, was responsible for constructing the Vella Gulf.

The ship was named to honor those who fought in the Battle of Vella Gulf during World War II. This battle occurred in 1943 in the Pacific Ocean, home to the Solomon Islands.

During the engagement, six American destroyers were successful in disrupting the supply lines of the Imperial Japanese Navy without suffering a single loss of life or suffering any damage from enemy fire.

Following in the footsteps of the Commencement Bay-class escort carrier USS Vella Gulf, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser is the second United States Navy warship to be given the battle’s name (CVE 111).

In 1999, the crew was a part of NATO strikes against Serbia to put an end to government-sanctioned abuses of ethnic Albanians’ human rights in the Kosovo region.

In the year 2001, Vella Gulf responded to the call and participated in the national effort to offer homeland security for the region of the country located in the northeastern part of the country soon after the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11th. The crew served as the air defense commander, providing support for operations to regulate air traffic and managing protocols over a region extending from Boston to Washington, DC.

The Vella Gulf became a member of Carrier Strike Group 11 in the year 2017. Throughout the course of its mission, it provided support for attacks against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

The crew of the Vella Gulf finished what was possibly the most challenging deployment of the ship’s service in the year 2020. During this deployment, the ship traveled to both the Middle East and Europe with the USS Eisenhower Strike Group.

Following its decommissioning, the ship will be towed to the Inactive Ship’s facility in Philadelphia, where the United States Navy operates. It will have the status of a Logistical Support Asset at such a location.