USS California (CGN-36)

Originally California Class DLGN

re-designated California Class CGN

Displacement 9,561 Tons, Dimensions, 596' (oa) x 61' x 31' 6" (Max)
Armament 2 Standard SAM 1x2, (80 Missiles) 2 x 5"/54RF, ASROC (24 Missiles) 4 x12.75" TT.
Machinery, 60,000 shaft horsepower; 2 G.E. Reactors (D2G), Geared Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 30+ Knots
Crew 540.
Keel laid on Jun 13, 1968 at Newport News Shipyard, Newport News, VA
Launched Sep 22, 1971
Commissioned Feb 16, 1974
Decommissioned Jul 09, 1999
Stricken Jul 09,1999
Recycled at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, 12 May 2000
Additional links for USS California:

My Duties with USS California
Mar 1988 - Jun 1993

USS California (CGN-36) was nuclear powered cruiser home ported and berthed at Alameda, NAS.  I assumed duties as Leading Petty Officer. Our QM gang was a QMC and 5 Qms.

I was annoyed to find that the CO and most officers were nuclear engineers.  They seemed to have forgotten (or ignored) the real function of a surface combatant ship, which is "Ordinance on Target."  Instead, the nuclear power plant became the tail that wagged the dog.  The joke on board was "What is the primary function of a nuclear cruiser?"  Answer - "Transport two navy nuclear reactors from point A to Point B."
(That's just one of the reasons why, other than aircraft carriers, which are commanded by aviators, there are no more nuclear surface combatant ships.)

In July '88, California joined a huge task group on what was called a "MiniPac."  We transited via great circle through the Aleutian Islands and then joined Japanese and Korean units for joint exercises in the Sea of Japan.  In Aug we spent a long weekend in Chinhae, Korea, arriving back in Alameda, CA in Sept.

Feb '89 California entered overhaul and refueling at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, WA.

I was assigned as LPO of the fire watch division.  The system for assigning and tracking fire watch personnel seemed inefficient to me, so I devised and set up my own system.  When I was transferred TAD to another ship, I taught my system to my relief who was later awarded a Navy/Marine corps Achievement medal for following through on my idea. 

In July'90 to Dec '90 I was transferred TAD to USS Reasoner (FF-1063).

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