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By Team Ships Public Affairs
NORFOLK, Va. – After a quarter-century of worldwide operations, the guided missile cruiser USS Hué City (CG 66) was inducted into the Cruiser Modernization program, Sept. 30, at Norfolk Naval Base, entering a period of major overhaul and modernization.
The program shifts administrative control from Commander, Naval Surface Forces Atlantic to the Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), allowing the ships to undergo extensive modernization work to extend their service life and Air Defense Commander capabilities.
The CG Modernization program paces the threat through the installation of the latest technological advances in combat systems and engineering, ensuring these ships remain relevant and viable throughout their entire service life of 40 operational years. Hué City will undergo extensive structural, mechanical, and combat systems upgrades and return to the fleet at peak technical readiness, fully equipped for the Sailors who will take her into harm’s way.
“The induction of Hué City is a major milestone for the CG Mod program, said Capt. Kevin Byrne, program manager for surface ship modernization. “Her upcoming overhaul will not only extend the life of this critical capability, but will help the Navy on its mission to grow the fleet and expand our warfighting advantage.”
Once a ship is inducted into the modernization program, two smaller maintenance availabilities are performed to remove equipment for replacement and to conduct structural repairs. These smaller availabilities lay the foundation for the ship to receive new and upgraded systems during a longer dry-docking availability.
“This was a tremendous effort between ship’s force, maintenance team, and other stakeholders,” said Lt. Cmdr. Ethan Reber, Hué City’s commanding officer. “From the beginning, lessons learned from ships inducted earlier in the process - Gettysburg (CG 64), Vicksburg (CG 69), and Anzio (CG 68) - were incorporated effectively into our planning. Our crew is ready to get started and work alongside the maintenance teams to deliver on her next milestone.”
Six of 11 cruisers have been inducted into the modernization program and are in various stages of returning to the fleet with modernized warfighting capability. USS Hué City (CG 66) is the seventh cruiser to be inducted and will be equipped with the latest technological advances in combat systems and engineering to ensure she remains warfighting relevant through the 2030s.
The NAVSEA Deputy Commander for Ship Maintenance and Modernization (SEA 21) manages the complete lifecycle support for non-nuclear surface ships including introduction, maintenance, and modernization. Through planned modernization and upgrade programs, SEA 21 will equip today's surface ships with the latest technologies and systems to keep them in the fleet through their service lives.