USS Curtis Wilbur

USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG-54) is the fourth Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer. Curtis Wilbur was named for Curtis D. Wilbur, forty-third Secretary of the Navy, who served under President Calvin Coolidge. In 2016 she was based at Yokosuka, Japan, as part of Destroyer Squadron 15.[1]

Built by Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, she was commissioned in Long Beach, California, on 19 March 1994. The keynote speaker for the ceremony was then-Secretary of the Navy, John H. Dalton.

USS Curtis Wilbur
USS Curtis Wilbur DDG-54 1999
USS Curtis Wilbur transiting the Persian Gulf in 1999
History
United States
Name: USS Curtis Wilbur
Namesake: Curtis D. Wilbur
Ordered: 13 December 1988
Builder: Bath Iron Works
Laid down: 12 March 1991
Launched: 16 May 1992
Commissioned: 19 March 1994
Homeport: Yokosuka, Japan
Identification: DDG-54
Motto:
  • Prudens Potens Patria
  • (Judicious Power for Country)
Nickname(s): Steel Hammer of the Republic
Status: in active service
Badge: USS Curtis Wilbur DDG-54 Crest
General characteristics
Class and type: Arleigh Burke-class destroyer
Displacement:
  • Light: approx. 6,800 long tons (6,900 t)
  • Full: approx. 8,900 long tons (9,000 t)
Length: 505 ft (154 m)
Beam: 66 ft (20 m)
Draft: 31 ft (9.4 m)
Propulsion: 4 General Electric LM2500-30 gas turbines, two shafts, 100,000 total shaft horsepower (75 MW)
Speed: >30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)
Range:
Complement:
Sensors and
processing systems:
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Armament:
Aircraft carried: 2 Sikorsky MH-60R helicopters can be embarked

Ship history

1990s

During the summer of 1994, Curtis Wilbur participated in RIMPAC '94, a major multi-national exercise involving more than thirty ships as well as numerous submarines and air assets, both carrier- and land-based. During this exercise, she performed duties as Force Air Defense Coordinator. Also that summer, the Board of Inspection and Survey conducted Final Contract Trials to assess the material status of the ship. Curtis Wilbur became the first ship of the class, and only the second ship ever to complete the examination with zero mission degrading deficiencies.

In October 1994, Curtis Wilbur became the first Aegis-equipped ship to integrate women into the crew.

Curtis Wilbur departed on her first Western Pacific Deployment on 31 July 1995, transiting the Pacific and heading to the Persian Gulf. While deployed with the United States Naval Forces Central Command, she supported Operations Southern Watch and Vigilant Sentinel. During her 100 days in theater, she served as Air Warfare Commander, Surface Warfare Commander, Undersea Warfare Commander, and Strike Warfare Commander. Curtis Wilbur also served as a member of the United States Fifth Fleet Expeditionary Task Force supporting United Nations sanctions against Iraq.

In September 1996, Curtis Wilbur became part of the United States Seventh Fleet, shifting homeports from San Diego to Yokosuka Naval Base in Yokosuka, Japan. Upon arrival in Japan, she successfully completed Tailored Ship's Training Availability II and III and was the first ship ever to validate the Final Evaluation Period. On 15 February 1997, she deployed with the Independence Battle Group and participated in exercises Tandem Thrust '97 and Cobra Gold. Curtis Wilbur served as the Air Warfare Commander during this deployment.

Throughout the remainder of 1997, Curtis Wilbur participated in numerous Seventh Fleet exercises, including Javelin Maker, Missilex 97-4, Aswex 97-6JA, Harmex 97-2, Annualex 09G, and Comptuex. For her "contributions to the fleet", Curtis Wilbur was selected as the Destroyer Squadron Fifteen Battle Efficiency Winner for 1997.

In January 1998, Curtis Wilbur participated in Sharem 108-1 before deploying again, on short notice, to the South Pacific. During this deployment, Curtis Wilbur visited ports in Singapore, Australia, Guam, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan. She also participated in Merlion '98 and the Shimoda Black Ship Festival.

USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG-54)
Docked in the port of Da Nang, Vietnam

In June 1998 Curtis Wilbur commenced her second Selected Restricted Availability (SRA) in Yokosuka. This nine-week shipyard period brought with it many new upgrades, including JTIDS (Link 16), JMCIS 98, INMARSAT B, and numerous other Engineering and Combat System upgrades, making her the most capable destroyer in Seventh Fleet.

Upon completion of SRA and sea trials in August 1998, in addition to beginning the training cycle, Curtis Wilbur deployed for the joint and combined Exercise FOAL Eagle ‘98 with the Republic of Korea Navy and completed a successful Cruise Missile Tactical Qualification and Naval Surface Fire Support qualification. During the training cycle the ship certified the Main Space Fire Drill for ECERT at TSTA II and had a near flawless performance during ECERT. After completing her second complete training cycle while forward deployed, Curtis Wilbur participated in Sharem 127 with the Korean Navy and deployed in March 1999 with the Kitty Hawk Battle Group.

After completing Tandem Thrust ’99, an annual multi-national training exercise, Curtis Wilbur received immediate tasking to proceed at best speed en route to the Persian Gulf. Steaming in company with Kitty Hawk and Chancellorsville, Curtis Wilbur conducted a no-notice high speed transit and arrived in the Persian Gulf on 18 April 1999. Proceeding directly to the Northern Persian Gulf, Curtis Wilbur commenced operations in support of Operation Southern Watch; enforcing the Southern No-Fly Zone over Iraq and supporting United Nations Sanctions against Iraq by conducting Maritime Interception Operations (MIO) as a member of the Fifth Fleet. Curtis Wilbur also participated in two major exercises while on her second Persian Gulf deployment: Nautical Swimmer ’99, a combined exercise with the Royal Saudi Naval Forces, and Sharem 128, an undersea warfare exercise in the North Arabian Sea. Following port visits to Bunbury, Australia and Pattaya, Thailand, Curtis Wilbur returned to Yokosuka, Japan on 25 August 1999.

2000s

US Navy 110318-N-GL340-128 The guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilber (DDG 54) is underway off the coast of Japan providing humanitarian assist
Off the coast of Japan in 2011

On 1 October 2001, Curtis Wilbur again departed Yokosuka on another deployment. Assigned to the Kitty Hawk Strike Group, she conducted operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in the Persian Gulf. After a port visit to Phuket, Thailand, Curtis Wilbur's first port visit in ten months, from 13–15 December, the ship returned to Yokosuka on 23 December 2001.

In early February 2002, Curtis Wilbur, along with the landing helicopter dock Essex, cruisers Cowpens, Chancellorsville, destroyers O'Brien, Cushing, John S. McCain, frigates Vandegrift, Gary, and supply vessel John Ericsson along with the Japanese Sagami participated in Missilex '02, an anti-ship missile defense training evolution. The Missilex took place on 7 and 8 February, in a training area off the island of Okinawa, with all the ships participating except John Ericsson and Sagami, which had conducted replenishments at sea with several ships earlier in the exercise.

On June 30, 2007, Curtis Wilbur collided with a Russian Udaloy-class destroyer while docking in Vladivostok, Russia, sustaining minor damage.[2]

In March 2011, in company with the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, the ship was deployed off northeastern Honshu, Japan to assist with relief efforts after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.[3][4] During that time, the ship may have been exposed to leaking radiation from the Fukushima I nuclear accidents.[5]

In January 2016, Curtis Wilbur sailed within 12 nautical miles (22 km; 14 mi) of the disputed Triton Island in the South China Sea [6] as part a planned series of Freedom of navigation operations (also referred to as FONOPs).[7]

On 22 October 2018, she transited the Taiwan Strait along with USS Antietam (CG-54).[8]

Awards

USS Curtis Wilbur earned the 2013 Captain Edward F. Ney Memorial Award.[9]

Notes

  1. ^ "COMDESRON FIFTEEN". www.public.navy.mil.
  2. ^ "Pacific Briefs: Curtis Wilbur Hits Russian Destroyer". Stars and Stripes. 8 July 2007. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  3. ^ Rabiroff, John (17 March 2011). "U.S. military delivers 40 tons of supplies to hardest-hit areas". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  4. ^ "Warships Supporting Earthquake in Japan". Seawaves. Archived from the original on 23 March 2011.
  5. ^ Stewart, Joshua (14 March 2011). "Navy ships off Japan move to avoid radiation". Military Times. Archived from the original on 17 March 2011. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  6. ^ "US warship sails near disputed island in South China Sea". SFGate. Associated Press. 30 January 2016. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  7. ^ Diplomat, Ankit Panda, The. "After Months of Waiting, US Finally Begins Freedom of Navigation Patrols Near China's Man-Made Islands". Retrieved 16 July 2016.
  8. ^ "Two U.S. Navy warships sail through Taiwan Strait". 22 October 2018. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  9. ^ Adams, Kathy (26 March 2013). "Outstanding Food Service Ney Award Winners Named" (Press release). United States Navy. Retrieved 30 January 2016.

References

External links

2006 Southern Leyte mudslide

On February 17, 2006, a massive rock slide-debris avalanche occurred in the Philippine province of Southern Leyte, causing widespread damage and loss of life. The deadly landslide (or debris flow) followed a 10-day period of heavy rain and a minor earthquake (magnitude 2.6 on the Richter scale). The official death toll was 1,126.

Curtis D. Wilbur

Curtis Dwight Wilbur (May 10, 1867 – September 8, 1954) was an American lawyer, California state judge, 43rd United States Secretary of the Navy and a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Da Nang Port

Đà Nẵng Port (Vietnamese: Cảng Đà Nẵng) is a major port system located in Central Vietnam at the mouth of the Han River on the South China Sea, in the city of Đà Nẵng. It is the third largest port system in Vietnam (after Saigon Port in Hồ Chí Minh City and the port of Hải Phòng). Đà Nẵng Port lies at one end of the East–West Economic Corridor, an economic corridor connecting Vietnam with Laos, Thailand, and Burma. Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) is the port's authority.In 2008, Đà Nẵng Port handled 2.7 million tons of cargo, of which 1.2 million tons were exports, 525,900 tons were imports, and 985,600 tons were domestic cargo. Over 29,600 passengers passed through the port in 2008, a significant increase over previous years. Despite the fact that the port's infrastructure is not specifically designed to accommodate cruise ships, the number of large cruise ships docking at Đà Nẵng Port has increased in recent years. In the first two months of 2010 alone, 12 cruise ships docked in Đà Nẵng, carrying 6,477 passengers.

Destroyer Squadron 15

Destroyer Squadron 15 is a squadron of United States Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyers based at Yokosuka, Japan.

Destroyer squadron

A destroyer squadron is a naval squadron or flotilla usually consisting of destroyers rather than other types of vessel. In some navies other vessels, such as frigates, may be included. In English the word "squadron" tends to be used for larger and "flotilla" for smaller vessels; both may be used for destroyer units. Similar formations are used in non-English-speaking countries, e.g., the "escadrille"—which would translate directly as "squadron"—in France.

FONOPs during the Obama Administration

During the Administration of President Barack Obama, there were six instances of the United States Navy performing a Freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) in the South China Sea (SCS). During the same period the USN also performed multiple other FONOPs in other parts of the world. The SCS operations involved Arleigh-Burke Class Guided Missile Destroyers assigned to United States Seventh Fleet. The U.S. FONOP program began in 1979 and the Department of Defense (DoD) keeps public records of FONOPs since 1991 on its website. The Department of State (DoS) provided guidance to the DoD on conducting FONOPs, with a particular focus on the South China Sea and East China Sea, while pushing back on the People's Republic of China and their "excessive territorial claims", specifically with the Spratly Islands, Paracel Islands, and Senkaku Islands.

Guided missile destroyer

A guided-missile destroyer is a destroyer designed to launch guided missiles. Many are also equipped to carry out anti-submarine, anti-air, and anti-surface operations. The NATO standard designation for these vessels is DDG. Nations vary in their use of destroyer D designation in their hull pennant numbering, either prefixing or dropping it altogether. The U.S. Navy has adopted the classification DDG in the American hull classification system.

In addition to the guns, a guided-missile destroyer is usually equipped with two large missile magazines, usually in vertical-launch cells. Some guided-missile destroyers contain powerful radar systems, such as the United States’ Aegis Combat System, and may be adopted for use in an anti-missile or ballistic-missile defense role. This is especially true of navies that no longer operate cruisers, so other vessels must be adopted to fill in the gap.

Haruna-class destroyer

The Haruna-class destroyer was a destroyer class built for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) in the early 1970s. These helicopter carrying destroyers (DDH) are built around a large central hangar which houses up to three helicopters.

Originally, the Coastal Safety Force and its successor, the JMSDF, had intended to enable its fleet aviation operating capability. In 1960, the Defense Agency planned to construct one helicopter carrier (CVH) with the Second Defense Build-up Plan, but this project was shelved and finally cancelled because the JMSDF changed their plan to dispersing its fleet aviation assets among destroyers, not concentrating in few helicopter carrier. The Japanese DDH was planned to be a hub with this dispersing fleet aviation concept with their logistics service capability for aircraft.At the beginning, equipment of this class were similar to those of the Takatsuki-class DDA. All weapons, two 5-inch/54 caliber Mark 42 (Type 73) guns and one Type 74 octuple missile launcher (Japanese version of the American Mark 16 GMLS), were settled on the forecastle deck. But with the Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization (FRAM) program in 1983 and 1984, Sea Sparrow launchers, Phalanx CIWS systems and chaff launchers were added on the superstructure. With this upgrading program, this class became also enable to operate Naval Tactical Data System (NTDS) with OYQ-6/7 combat direction system.The rear-half of the superstructure was helicopter hangar, and the afterdeck was the helicopter deck with the beartrap system. To operate large HSS-2 ASW helicopters safely, the full length of the helicopter deck reached 50 meters.

Joe Campa

Joe R. Campa Jr. is a retired United States Navy sailor, who served as the 11th Master Chief Petty Officer of the U.S. Navy.

Kongō-class destroyer

The Kongō class (こんごう型護衛艦, Kongō-gata Goeikan) of guided missile destroyers serves as the core ship of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF)'s Escort Flotillas. Constructed in the 1990s, the Kongō class are equipped with the Aegis fire control system, being one of the few ship classes outside the United States to have that capability.

List of equipment of the United States Navy

The Equipment of the United States Navy have been subdivided into: watercraft, aircraft, munitions, vehicles, and small arms.

Mark 41 Vertical Launching System

The Mark 41 Vertical Launching System (Mk 41 VLS) is a shipborne missile canister launching system which provides a rapid-fire launch capability against hostile threats. The Vertical Launch System (VLS) concept was derived from work on the Aegis Combat System.

RIM-66 Standard

The RIM-66 Standard MR (SM-1MR/SM-2MR) is a medium-range surface-to-air missile (SAM), with a secondary role as anti-ship missile, originally developed for the United States Navy (USN). A member of the Standard Missile family of weapons, the SM-1 was developed as a replacement for the RIM-2 Terrier and RIM-24 Tartar that were deployed in the 1950s on a variety of USN ships. The RIM-67 Standard (SM-1ER/SM-2ER) is an extended range version of this missile with a solid rocket booster stage.

RIM-67 Standard

The RIM-67 Standard ER (SM-1ER/SM-2ER) is an extended range surface-to-air missile (SAM) and anti ship missile originally developed for the United States Navy (USN). The RIM-67 was developed as a replacement for the RIM-8 Talos, a 1950s system deployed on a variety of USN ships, and eventually replaced the RIM-2 Terrier as well, since it was of a similar size and fitted existing Terrier launchers and magazines. The RIM-66 Standard MR was essentially the same missile without the booster stage, designed to replace the RIM-24 Tartar. The RIM-66/67 series thus became the US Navy's universal SAM system, hence the "Standard Missile" moniker.

Triton Island

Triton Island (Chinese: 中建岛; pinyin: Zhōngjiàn Dǎo; Vietnamese: đảo Tri Tôn) is the westernmost and southernmost of the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. It is located on the southwest corner of Triton Reef and has an area of 7 hectares (17 acres) above sea-level. The reef including the island measures about 120 hectares (300 acres) in area. The island is administered by the People's Republic of China, and is also claimed by the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Vietnam.

The island was historically known by the Chinese as Bànlù Zhì (Chinese: 半路峙; literally: 'halfway tower'), and as Luó Dǎo (Chinese: 螺岛; literally: 'snail island') to Chinese fishermen. Other Chinese sources have it named as 南建岛, as it was the southernmost point claimed by China until after 1933. The current Chinese name commemorates the Republic of China Navy warship ROCS Chung-chien (中建號) sent in 1946 to claim the Paracel Islands.

USCGC Bertholf

USCGC Bertholf (WMSL-750) is the first Legend-class maritime security cutter of the United States Coast Guard. She is named for Commodore Ellsworth P. Bertholf, fourth commandant of both the Revenue Cutter Service and Coast Guard.

In 2005, construction began at Northrop Grumman's Ship Systems Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi. She was launched on September 29, 2006, christened November 11, 2006, and commissioned on August 4, 2008. The cutter's home port is Alameda, California. Bertholf was the first to fire the Bofors 57 mm gun aboard a U.S. vessel on 11 February 2008.

United States Fleet Activities Yokosuka

United States Fleet Activities Yokosuka (横須賀海軍施設, Yokosuka kaigunshisetsu) or Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka (司令官艦隊活動横須賀, Shirei-kan kantai katsudō Yokosuka) is a United States Navy base in Yokosuka, Japan. Its mission is to maintain and operate base facilities for the logistic, recreational, administrative support and service of the U.S. Naval Forces Japan, Seventh Fleet and other operating forces assigned in the Western Pacific. CFAY is the largest strategically important U.S. naval installation in the western Pacific.Fleet Activities Yokosuka comprises 2.3 km² (568 acres) and is located at the entrance of Tokyo Bay, 65 km (40 mi) south of Tokyo and approximately 30 km (20 mi) south of Yokohama on the Miura Peninsula in the Kantō region of the Pacific Coast in Central Honshū, Japan.

The 55 tenant commands which make up this installation support U.S. Navy Pacific operating forces, including principal afloat elements of the United States Seventh Fleet, including the only permanently forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), the group she heads, Carrier Strike Group Five, and Destroyer Squadron 15.

United States Pacific Fleet

The United States Pacific Fleet (USPACFLT) is a Pacific Ocean theater-level component command of the United States Navy that provides naval forces to the United States Indo-Pacific Command. Fleet headquarters is at Pearl Harbor Naval Station, Hawaii, with large secondary facilities at North Island, San Diego Bay on the Mainland.

Vertical launching system

A vertical launching system (VLS) is an advanced system for holding and firing missiles on mobile naval platforms, such as surface ships and submarines. Each vertical launch system consists of a number of cells, which can hold one or more missiles ready for firing. Typically, each cell can hold a number of different types of missiles, allowing the ship flexibility to load the best set for any given mission. Further, when new missiles are developed, they are typically fitted to the existing vertical launch systems of that nation, allowing existing ships to use new types of missiles without expensive rework. When the command is given, the missile flies straight up long enough to clear the cell and the ship, and then turns on course.

A VLS allows surface combatants to have a greater number of weapons ready for firing at any given time compared to older launching systems such as the Mark 13 single-arm and Mark 26 twin-arm launchers, which were fed from behind by a magazine below the main deck. In addition to greater firepower, VLS is much more damage tolerant and reliable than the previous systems, and has a lower radar cross-section (RCS). The U.S. Navy now relies exclusively on VLS for its guided missile destroyers and cruisers.

The most widespread vertical launch system in the world is the Mark 41, developed by the United States Navy. More than 11,000 Mark 41 VLS missile cells have been delivered, or are on order, for use on 186 ships across 19 ship classes, in 11 navies around the world. This system currently serves with the US Navy as well as the Australian, Danish, Dutch, German, Japanese, New Zealand, Norwegian, South Korean, Spanish, and Turkish navies, while others like the Greek Navy preferred the similar Mark 48 system.The advanced Mark 57 vertical launch system is used on the new Zumwalt-class destroyer. The older Mark 13 and Mark 26 systems remain in service on ships that were sold to other countries such as Taiwan and Poland.

When installed on an SSN (nuclear-powered attack submarine), a VLS allows a greater number and variety of weapons to be deployed, compared with using only torpedo tubes.

Flight I ships
Flight II ships
Flight IIA ships
Flight III ships

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