SAN DIEGO - The cruiser USS Cowpens was scheduled to arrive in San Diego on Monday following 13 years of being based in Japan, the Navy announced Friday.
The cruiser USS Antietam was sent to Japan Jan. 3 to replace the ship, and the same crew is bringing the Cowpens back to the U.S. The Antietam completed a major upgrade to its hull, mechanical, electrical and combat systems last year, making it a better choice to be based closer to a combat zone, according to the Navy.
"After spending most of 2012 preparing USS Antietam for forward operations, the crew conducted a professional and well-executed turnover with Cowpens this February, and then worked diligently to learn the differences between the two hulls and how to operate Cowpens at sea," said Capt. Robert Tortora, the Cowpens commanding officer. "I am very proud of the efforts of all hands to first make Antietam ready and then make themselves fully mission-capable in Cowpens."
The Cowpens is named after an important Revolutionary War battle.