USS Long Beach, CGN-9, Being Scrapped – Buy It At Auction!
Today, the Long Beach is a sad looking hulk near the Bremerton shipyard – part of a mothballed fleet. It has no superstructure and most things of value were probably removed years ago. But what’s left will be sold to the highest bidder for scrap in an auction being held by the government.
Why is this a topic for this blog? Because the Long Beach was where I learned many lessons about operational excellence and equipment reliability and was qualified as “Engineer” by Naval Reactors (Navsea 08). I served on the Long Beach for almost two years from 1984 – 1985 as the B-1 Division Officer, B/M-Division Officer, and finally as MPA.
The Long Beach was the first cruiser built after WWII and was designed more like a WWII cruiser than the later nuclear powered DLGs. It has teak decks and an armored hull. But it was also modern with all missile weapons (when initially built – later 5″ guns were added) and an all aluminum superstructure (a big box) that initially wore a phased array radar.
The Long Beach, along with all the other nuclear powered cruisers, were decommissioned when the Navy was downsized because congress didn’t want to pay to refuel and modernize them.