SAN DIEGO - The cruiser USS Cowpens arrived in San Diego Monday after spending 13 years based in Japan.
The cruiser USS Antietam was sent to Japan Jan. 3 to replace the ship, and the same 400-member crew brought the Cowpens back to the United States. The Antietam underwent a major upgrade to its hull, mechanical, electrical and combat systems last spring, 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," Capt. Robert Tortora, the Cowpens commanding officer, said. "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 567-foot "Mighty Moo" is named after a key Revolutionary War battle.