The AGF 11 USS Coronado command ship serves as the flagships for the Commander, Third Fleet. Command ships provide communications and accommodations for fleet commanders and staff. Ships are equipped air and surface radars, helicopter, chaff launchers, and an electronic warfare suite.
Coronado was converted from an amphibious warfare ship [LPD-11] for employment as a command ship. USS CORONADO was built by Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Company in Seattle, Washington. Its keel was laid on 3 May 1965 and the ship was launched on 30 July 1966. USS CORONADO was commissioned 23 May 1970. USS CORONADO was designed as an Amphibious Transport Dock (LPD), built to transport Marines and their equipment to the scene of an amphibious assault, and move them ashore by landing craft and helicopters.
The ship is one of seven fitted with additional superstructure for command ship duties. The USS CORONADO (AGF 11) has undergone numerous modifications since her redesignation from LPD to AGF. Among the more significant changes have been to her Command Control Communications Computers and Intelligence (C4I) capabilities. Other than C4I modifications the ship physically no longer looks like one of the original LPD's. Her 3" 50 caliber guns have been removed, the sterngate has been sealed shut, and the well deck has been replaced with offices to support the staff.
CORONADO is a "work in progress". The ship is well on its way to becoming the most technically advanced and finest Joint Task Force (JTF) Command Ship in commission. Although the major construction of the JTF complex in the former Well Deck has been completed, outfitting of the command and control spaces continues. This JTF Complex was designed with the input of people like yourselves and from lessons learned from many recent operations and exercises.
USS CORONADO routinely embarks a helicopter squadron detachment from HC-11 during at-sea periods. Her air department and hangar facilities can support a variety of helicopter missions; her flight deck can launch and recover any Navy helicopter as well as the AV-8 Harrier VSTOL
CORONADO has a civilian system known as Challenge Athena III, which serves as a back up to the military antenna, WSC-6. CAIII and WSC-6 provide the ship access to the SHF bandwidth via a satellite.
On November 14, 2003, the CORONADO was transfered to the Military Sealift Command becoming the first Command Ship ever to be assigned to the MSC. CORONADO subsequently entered the shipyard to be coverted to accommodate civilian sailors. Afterwards, the CORONADO returned to the fleet and resumed duties as the flagship of the THIRD Fleet.