It was 150 years ago today when a legendary admiral was lashed to his ship’s rigging to guide the steam sloop USS Hartford through a gauntlet of mines and gunfire from ship and shore, bellowing, “Damn the torpedoes. Full speed ahead!”
Presence mattered that day when Rear Adm. David Farragut‘s fleet of 18 ships—including four ironclads—sailed into Mobile Bay, Ala., the last Gulf Coast port held by the confederates. Although the battle only lasted three hours; taking the heavily fortified port cost Farragut dearly, with the loss of USS Tecumseh and her 100 Sailors alone. But in the end it was the presence of Farragut’s fleet—in the right place at the right time—that put an end to the Confederate Navy and closed down the last of its ports.
As it was on the Gulf Coast 150 years ago, presence matters today. In fact, it can be argued it’s even more important today as American interests span the globe. So the crew of USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) is proud to carry on the legacy of Adm. Farragut and his Sailors as part of America’s globally deployed navy.
Fresh from an eight-month Selected Restricted Availability (SRA), Mobile Bay will rejoin the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group and deploy in the fall of 2015, offering commanders a wide range of presence, humanitarian and combat options including land, sea and air supremacy.
The navy’s continued presence in the Pacific is necessary to build relationships that ensure America’s safety today and tomorrow. In preparing for the Pacific Fleet deployment, Mobile Bay is committed to improving the relationships between nations and organizations to achieve a common goal: the stability and security of the Pacific region. Mobile Bay’s presence will ensure sea lanes remain open and safe for trade, democracy and peace around the world.
Make no mistake about it, this ship remains a technologically advanced warfighting platform—we have the tools to succeed—but the most crucial element to mission accomplishment is the crew of Mobile Bay. The ship’s more than 360 outstanding Sailors will build on their past training and experience, developing and honing the skills necessary for mission accomplishment. The crew understands and takes seriously their pivotal role as ambassadors, allies and warfighters, and acknowledges that when the world sees Sailors, they are seeing the United States.
Just like Adm. Farragut’s fleet from so long ago; USS Mobile Bay continues working toward deployment, being prepared to respond to crises, standing by to protect the maritime interests of the U.S., its allies and partners, and guided by a crew that embodies the elements that assured victory for Union naval forces in that pivotal moment of the Civil War.