USS Cowpens (CG-63) pulls alongside USS Kitty Hawk
|Namesake:||Battle of Cowpens|
|Ordered:||8 January 1986|
|Builder:||Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine|
|Laid down:||23 December 1987|
|Launched:||11 March 1989|
|Sponsored by:||Lucy Mustin|
|Commissioned:||9 March 1991|
|Homeport:||Naval Base San Diego|
|Nickname(s):||"The Mighty Moo"|
|Status:||in active service|
|Class and type:||Ticonderoga-class cruiser|
|Displacement:||Approx. 9,600 long tons (9,800 t) full load|
|Length:||567 feet (173 m)|
|Beam:||55 feet (16.8 meters)|
|Draft:||34 feet (10.2 meters)|
|Speed:||32.5 knots (60 km/h; 37.4 mph)|
|Complement:||30 officers and 300 enlisted|
|Sensors and |
|Aircraft carried:||2 × Sikorsky SH-60B or MH-60R Seahawk LAMPS III helicopters.|
USS Cowpens (CG-63) is a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser in service with the United States Navy. The ship is named after the Battle of Cowpens, a major American victory near Cowpens, South Carolina, in the American Revolution. She was built at the Bath Iron Works in Maine. Cowpens is stationed at Naval Base San Diego.
Cowpens' keel was laid 23 December 1987, at Bath Iron Works; she was launched 11 March 1989, and sponsored by Lucy Mustin, wife of Vice Admiral Henry C. Mustin.Cowpens was commissioned 9 March 1991 in Charleston, South Carolina, Captain Edward Moore Jr. in command.
In August 2000, an Aegis fire controlman died when he fell from the main mast of Cowpens. In June 2010, a quartermaster fell to his death from the bridge wing of Cowpens while the ship was in dry dock.
Cowpens was scheduled to be decommissioned on 31 March 2013. However, Cowpens was retained under the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013.
In February 2013, Cowpens was relieved by Antietam in a "hull-swap" at Yokosuka, Japan, in which the two crews swapped ships. Cowpens, previously deployed to Yokosuka, was then homeported at Naval Base San Diego, California.
On 5 December 2013, Cowpens was involved in a minor confrontation with a Chinese warship that was escorting the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning while conducting surveillance of Chinese ships in International waters in the South China Sea. After Cowpens refused a Chinese demand to leave the area, a Chinese amphibious transport dock crossed directly in front of Cowpens and halted. The two vessels were barely 500 yards (460 m) away when the captain of Cowpens ordered "all stop". Chinese admiral Yin Zhuo said that the Chinese action was intentional and that American ships sent to observe PLAN maneuvers would be "blocked". Pentagon spokesman Steve Warren said that American procedures had not been changed in light of the incident, but defense analyst Tim Brown said that it reflected "a growing willingness by the Chinese to engage in potentially reckless behavior".
In September 2015, Cowpens transferred from Naval Surface Forces Command to Naval Sea Systems Command, where she will undergo a "modernization period", extending the serviceable life of the ship into the 2040s.
Captain Edward Moore Jr. was the first commanding officer of Cowpens. Vice Admiral Moore was Commander of Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, from August 1998 to May 2001.
On 13 January 2010, the ship's commanding officer, Captain Holly Graf, was relieved of command by Rear Admiral Kevin Donegan, Commander, Carrier Strike Group Five, following the imposition of non-judicial punishment. The punishment followed an investigation which verified allegations of cruelty and maltreatment toward her crew, and conduct unbecoming an officer -- violations of articles 93 and 133 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, by Graf during her tenure as captain of Cowpens. The investigation was initiated after multiple allegations and complaints of physical and verbal abuse were made to Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Navy Inspector General by several members of the crew. Captain Graf was subsequently replaced as the commanding officer by Captain Robert Marin. A subsequent Time article revealed that Graf had a history of abusive treatment of subordinates in earlier command and non-command assignments and that naval leaders had not acted on previous complaints about her behavior. The US Navy forced Graf into early retirement in 2012, but allowed her to do so at her current rank of Captain and under "honorable circumstances."
On 10 February 2012, Cowpens' commanding officer, Captain Robert G. Marin, was relieved of command for inappropriate personal behavior after he had an adulterous affair with a fellow captain's wife. Captain Paul Lyons, deputy commander Destroyer Squadron 15, temporarily assumed command.
On 10 June 2014, the commanding officer of Cowpens, Captain Gregory Gombert, was relieved of command for poor performance in a number of inspections. Capt. Robert B. Chadwick II, temporarily assumed command on that date. Based on an official report, the Navy Times reported that Gombert took ill midway through the deployment and rarely left his quarters for nearly three months of the cruise. The report concluded Gombert had exaggerated the extent of his illness. It also noted accusations of an unduly familiar relationship between Gombert and a female Lieutenant Commander who was Chief Engineer, acting Executive Officer and filling in for Gombert during his illness. The Command Master Chief was also relieved at that time since he did not report the problems to higher authorities. At Admiral's non-judicial punishment in July 2014, Gombert was found guilty of five counts failure to obey lawful orders and one count conduct unbecoming an officer. The Chief Engineer was found guilty of two counts failure to obey lawful orders and one of conduct unbecoming an officer. The Command Master Chief was found guilty of two counts failure to obey lawful orders. Gombert was the third commanding officer of Cowpens to be fired since 2010.
In September 2014, Cowpens second-in-command, executive officer, was fired after he was found guilty at Admiral's non-judicial punishment of drunken or reckless operation of a vehicle and conduct unbecoming an officer. He was the fourth member of Cowpens leadership team to be removed in 2014.
According to the US Navy unit awards web site, Cowpens and her crew received the following awards: