She recently departed the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) and entered U.S. 6th Fleet AOR, to make the journey to her homeport, Norfolk, Virginia.
Anzio, along with the other ships from the George H.W. Bush Strike Group, transited from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea through the Suez Canal.
Anzio departed Norfolk on May 10 and was the flagship for Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, a counter-piracy operation coalition task force, for more than four months in the 5th Fleet AOR. Anzio has been deployed as part of the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group supporting maritime security operations and theatre security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility.
The Ticonderoga class of missile cruisers uses phased-array radar and was originally planned as a class of destroyers.
However, the increased combat capability offered by the Aegis combat system and the AN/SPY-1 radar system was used to justify the change of the classification from DDG (guided missile destroyer) to CG (guided missile cruiser).
In addition to the added radar capability, some of the Ticonderoga class, such as the Anzio, are outfitted with two Vertical Launching Systems (or VLS).
The two VLS allow the ship to have 122 missile storage and launching tubes that can carry a wide variety of missiles, including the Tomahawk cruise missile, the Standard surface-to-air missile, the Evolved Sea Sparrow surface-to-air missile, and the ASROC anti-submarine warfare missile.
More importantly, the VLS enables all missiles to be on full stand-by at any given time, shortening the ship's response time.
On 9 January 2003 Anzio was pre-deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Ordered first to the eastern Mediterranean Sea for the initial phase of President George W. Bush's Shock and Awe strategy, during which the US Navy deployed to obliterate and defeat the Iraq military before ground forces were sent in. Once the Anzio completed her mission in the eastern Mediterranean, she forward-deployed to the Persian Gulf. Once the Anzio arrived in the Gulf, she had marked her 45th straight day at sea. In the Gulf, the Anzio continued carrier-flight support operations and coastal surveillance. After President Bush announced major combat had concluded in the Iraq War, on 1 May 2003, the Anzio was relieved of its duties, returning home on 3 July 2003 after 175 days at sea.
On 16 February 2007, Anzio was awarded the 2006 Battle E award. On October 15, 2009 a team from the cruiser working with U.S. Coast Guard personnel from Maritime Safety and Security Team 91104 seized a skiff carrying an estimated 4 tons of hashish worth an estimated $28 million about 170 nautical miles (310 km) southwest of Salalah, Oman.