The USS Valley Forge, an Aegis-equipped guided-missile cruiser and sister ship to the USS Vincennes, will coast into Port Hueneme this morning as bagpipes play at dockside.
The ship will be the centerpiece for a four-day celebration as the Naval Ship Weapons Systems Engineering Station marks its 25th anniversary.
The Valley Forge is one of seven ships now outfitted with Aegis, a sophisticated $525-million system designed both to detect enemy aircraft and aim missiles toward them.
The system is the one used by the Vincennes in the Persian Gulf last weekend. The ship mistakenly shot down an Iranian commercial airliner, killing all 290 passengers and crew members aboard. A congressional inquiry into the tragedy will focus on, among other things, flaws in the Aegis system.