USS Decatur (DDG-73)

USS Decatur (DDG-73) is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the United States Navy. She is named for the former naval officer Stephen Decatur, Jr. This ship is the 23rd destroyer of her class. USS Decatur was the 13th ship of this class to be built at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, and construction began on 11 January 1996. She was launched on 10 November 1996 and was christened on 8 November 1996. On 29 August 1998 she was commissioned at the Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland, Oregon.

USS Decatur (DDG-73) in 2006
USS Decatur (DDG-73) in 2006
United States
Name: USS Decatur
Namesake: Stephen Decatur
Ordered: 19 January 1993
Builder: Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine
Laid down: 11 January 1996
Launched: 8 November 1996
Commissioned: 29 August 1998
Motto: In Pursuit of Peace[1]
Status: in active service
Badge: USS Decatur DDG-73 Crest
General characteristics
Class and type: Arleigh Burke-class destroyer
  • Light: approx. 6,752 tons
  • Full: approx. 8,886 tons
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)
Sensors and
processing systems:
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Aircraft carried: 1 SH-60 Sea Hawk helicopter can be embarked


Decatur was commissioned on 19 June 1998 in Bath, Maine, with the official ceremony taking place 29 August 1998, at the Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland, Oregon. The guided missile destroyer arrived at her new home port of San Diego September 4th, 1998. She spent the remainder of the year conducting acoustic trials and combat system evaluations. Decatur then spent three months in a post-shakedown availability in the Southwest Marine Yard.

In April 1999, the warship conducted a short cruise to the Northwest, visiting Decatur Island, Washington, and Vancouver, British Columbia, before returning to San Diego in early May. After a second visit to Washington in August, Decatur sent a boarding team of Damage Control Experts to assist MV Gardenia Ace—a car carrier—which had suffered a fire in her engine room.

Upon completion of her final missile tests and sea trials, Decatur commenced her first western Pacific deployment on 7 January 2000. After stopping at Pearl Harbor to load Tomahawk land-attack missiles, the guided missile destroyer proceeded to the Yellow Sea for Exercise Sharem 2000—a joint U.S. and South Korean naval exercise—in late January. On 30 January, the warship visited Chinhae, South Korea, and over the next two weeks also stopped at Yokosuka and Nagasaki, Japan. She then sailed south through the Taiwan Strait, made a three-day port visit to Hong Kong, and then commenced a South China Sea exercise with units of the Philippine Navy.

In February 2001, Decatur began various battle group and missile training off the West Coast. Following the terrorist plane hijackings and crashes in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania on 11 September, the destroyer put to sea for Operation Noble Eagle off the coast of the San Francisco Bay Area. Returning to San Diego on 23 September, the warship spent seven weeks preparing for her deployment with the John C. Stennis battle group on 12 November.

Between 17 December 2001 and 16 April 2002, Decatur escorted the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group—during which time her security team boarded three merchant ships, including one non-compliant boarding of M/V Francisco Dagohoy on 10 April—in support of Maritime Interdiction Operations. Decatur returned to San Diego on June 8th, 2002.

Decatur departed on her third deployment overall, and second deployment to the Persian Gulf, in August 2003. She made stops in Pearl Harbor and Singapore before arriving in the Persian Gulf. In December 2003, Decatur seized a 40-foot (12 m) dhow on 15 December, discovering an estimated two tons of narcotics allegedly linked to an al-Qaeda smuggling operation. The drugs had an estimated street value of 8 to 10 million dollars.[2]

In May 2004, Decatur entered dry-dock, her first dry-dock period since construction.

In January 2006, Decatur departed for her fourth deployment (third to the Persian Gulf) as part of a Carrier Strike Group, led by the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan. Throughout the deployment, she conducted Maritime Security Operations in the Arabian Sea and Persian Gulf; participated in three major anti-submarine warfare exercises (including Arabian Shark and Valiant Shield); and as part of the French-led Task Force 473, conducted Arabian Sea operations with the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle.

SM-3 launch-USS Decatur
Decatur firing a SM-3 missile in 2007

On 16 February 2007, Decatur was awarded the 2006 Battle "E" award.[3]

In June 2007, Decatur tested her Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System by launching a RIM-161 Standard (SM-3). It was the first such test from a US Aegis destroyer.[4]

In May 2008, Decatur departed on her fifth deployment overall, and fourth deployment to the Persian Gulf. She spent a significant amount of time in 7th Fleet, stopping in Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore before proceeding in to the 5th Fleet area for duties. She returned to San Diego in November 2008.

Decatur deployed for the sixth time in May 2009, returning to San Diego in November 2009.

French Navy helicopter lands on USS Decatur's flight deck.

In December 2010, Commander Shanti Sethi was promoted from Executive Officer to Commanding Officer. She is the 12th female commander in the U.S. Navy.

In April 2013, Decatur was sent to the Western Pacific near the Korean Peninsula, to join two other destroyers, John S. McCain and Fitzgerald, in response to growing threats and an increase in belligerent statements and actions by North Korea's leadership. As a show of force and as part of the drills, the U.S. sent bombers and other aircraft (including the B-2 stealth bomber, capable of carrying conventional or nuclear weapons), to the region, and both South Korea and the U.S. pledged to vigorously defend themselves.[5][6][7]

On 30 September 2018, Decatur and Chinese destroyer Lanzhou were involved in a near-collision when the two ships came within 50 yards of one another in the South China Sea.[8] The U.S. Navy accused Lanzhou of acting "in an unsafe and unprofessional maneuver in the vicinity of Gaven Reef".[9]

Coat of arms

USS Decatur DDG-73 Crest


The shield has background of dark blue. In the center is a red crown. Crossing in the center of the crown is an English officer’s sword and a seax.

The traditional Navy colors were chosen for the shield because dark blue and gold represents the sea and excellence respectively. The seax signifies a series of victories by Stephen Decatur over sea forces of North African terrorist nations. The English officer's sword symbolizes Decatur's victory over HMS Macedonian during the war of 1812 in one of the greatest single ship actions of naval history. The celestial crown symbolizes anti-air warfare capabilities. The crown has five mullets for each of the ships named Decatur. It also represents Stephen Decatur's engagements against the British during the war of 1812. The color gold represents excellence, while scarlet denotes courage and sacrifice.


The crest consists of a ship’s mast and sail with a flying pennant.

The ship's mast and sail represent the heritage of the Decatur name and the Navy of Stephen Decatur's time, with the first vessel to bear his name. The mast is also in reference to the traditional pine construction of the vessels of Decatur's Navy times. The pennant is to symbolize the senior naval authority which was earned by Commodore Stephen Decatur.


The motto is written on a scroll of white that has a blue reverse side.

The ships motto is "In Pursuit of Peace".


The coat of arms in full color as in the blazon, upon a white background enclosed within a dark blue oval border edged on the outside with a gold rope and bearing the inscription "USS Decatur" at the top and "DDG 73" in the base all gold.


  1. ^ "Official USS Decatur DDG-73 Website". Retrieved 2 April 2011.
  2. ^ Starr, Barbara; Courson, Paul (19 December 2003). "U.S. links al Qaeda to Persian Gulf drug boat". CNN. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  3. ^ Ludwick, Paula M. (19 February 2007). "Surface Force Ships, Crews Earn Battle 'E'". Fleet Public Affairs, Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  4. ^ "AEGIS Destroyer Demonstrates Unique Anti-Missile Capability". Defense Update. 3 July 2007. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  5. ^ "North Korea in 'state of war' with South". Al Jazeera English. 31 March 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  6. ^ "US Navy shifts destroyer in wake of North Korea missile threats". NBC World News. 31 March 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  7. ^ Boghani, Priyanka (2 April 2013). "US sends second warship to Asia-Pacific as tensions rise with North Korea". GlobalPost. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  8. ^
  9. ^

External links

2013 in North Korea

The following lists events that happened in 2013 in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

2013 in spaceflight

In 2013, the maiden spaceflight of the Orbital Sciences' Antares launch vehicle, designated A-ONE, took place on 13 April. Orbital Science also launched its first spacecraft, Cygnus, that docked with the International Space Station in late September 2013.

Bath Iron Works

Bath Iron Works (BIW) is a major United States shipyard located on the Kennebec River in Bath, Maine, founded in 1884 as Bath Iron Works, Limited. BIW has built private, commercial, and military vessels, most of which have been ordered by the United States Navy. The shipyard has built and sometimes designed battleships, frigates, cruisers, and destroyers, including the Arleigh Burke class which are currently among the world's most advanced surface warships.

Since 1995, Bath Iron Works has been a subsidiary of General Dynamics, the fifth-largest defense contractor in the world as of 2008. During World War II, ships built at BIW were considered to be of superior toughness by sailors and Navy officials, giving rise to the phrase "Bath-built is best-built."

Carrier Strike Group 3

Carrier Strike Group 3 (CSG-3 or CARSTRKGRU 3) is a U.S. Navy carrier strike group. Carrier strike groups gain and maintain sea control as well as project naval airpower ashore. The aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) is the group's current flagship. Other units assigned include Carrier Air Wing Nine; the Ticonderoga-class cruisers USS Mobile Bay (CG-53) and USS Antietam (CG-54); and the ships of Destroyer Squadron 21.Between 2005 and 2013, the group made five deployments to the U.S. Fifth Fleet supporting U.S. ground forces in Iraq, and Afghanistan. On 18 December 2011, strike group aircraft flew the final carrier-based air mission over Iraq, effectively ending U.S. naval support for Operation New Dawn.

Carrier Strike Group 7

Carrier Strike Group Seven (CSG-7 or CARSTRKGRU 7) was a U.S. Navy carrier strike group active from October 2004 until 30 December 2011. The strike group's antecendants included two previous aircraft carrier formations, Carrier Division Seven and Carrier Group Seven. Its heritage thus includes the Second World War, the Vietnam War, and the Cold War, as well as the first and the second Persian Gulf wars, encompassing a total of 34 deployments to the Western Pacific Ocean and Persian Gulf.

Carrier Strike Group Seven 2004–06 operations

Carrier Strike Group Seven 2004–2006 operations included one deployments to the U.S. Fifth Fleet, and its embarked carrier air wing flew approximately 2940 air sorties in support of ground forces in Iraq and Afghanistan while CARSTRKGRU-7 surface warships supported theater security and maritime interdiction operation within that fleet's area of responsibility. It also participated in Valiant Shield 2006, a major joint military exercise of the U.S. Pacific Command. Finally, Carrier Strike Group Seven provided humanitarian assistance after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. Prior to being re-designated as Carrier Strike Group Seven on 1 October 2004, Carrier Group Seven (CarGru-7) and its John C. Stennis Carrier Battle Group participated in three different exercises during Summer Pulse 2004, a multi-carrier surge deployment to test the U.S. Navy's then-new Fleet Response Plan.

Carrier Strike Group Seven was based at Naval Air Station North Island, California.

John C. Stennis was initially the group's flagship, but USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) relieved her in 2005.

Carrier Strike Group Seven 2007–09 operations

Carrier Strike Group Seven 2007–2009 operations included two deployments to the U.S. Fifth Fleet, and its embarked Carrier Air Wing Fourteen flew 2750 air sorties in support of ground forces in Iraq and Afghanistan while CARSTRKGRU-7 surface warships supported theater security and maritime interdiction operation within that fleet's area of responsibility. CARSTRKGRU-7 also made a Western Pacific surge deployment in place of Carrier Strike Group Five.

Units of Carrier Strike Group Seven, individually and together, participated in such bi-lateral exercises as RSOI/Foal Eagle 2007, Talisman Saber 2007, Malabar 2008, and Malabar 2011, as well as such multi-lateral exercises as SEACAT 2008 and RIMPAC 2010. Finally, Carrier Strike Group Seven provided humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) support in the Typhoon Fengshen of 2008.

The group was based at Naval Air Station North Island, California, and it typically deployed to the U.S. Seventh Fleet operating in the Western Pacific (WESTPAC) and the U.S. Fifth Fleet in the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf. The Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) served as the flagship for Carrier Strike Group Seven during this operation period.

Exercise Valiant Shield

Exercise Valiant Shield is one of the largest United States military war games held in the Pacific Ocean. Until 2018, there have been seven Valiant Shield exercises since 2006. According to the Navy, Valiant Shield focuses on cooperation between military branches and on the detection, tracking, and engagement of units at sea, in the air, and on land in response to a wide range of missions.The first exercise in 2006 involved 22,000 personnel, 280 aircraft, and 30 ships, including the supercarriers USS Kitty Hawk, USS Abraham Lincoln, and USS Ronald Reagan. It was the largest military exercise to be conducted by the United States in Pacific waters since the Vietnam War, and it was also the first time observers from the People's Republic of China were allowed to view U.S. wargames. The exercise marked the first of what will become biennial exercises involving different branches of the U.S. military.

Valiant Shield 2006 included Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard units. Air operations included thousands of sorties as well as in-air refuelings and parachute deployments. Aircraft from Valiant Shield deployed on missions ranging across the Pacific all the way to Alaska. Ships simulated anti-submarine warfare. Valiant Shield 2006 was the first time that three carrier strike groups had operated together in the Pacific in over ten years. Forces exercised a wide range of skills, including maritime interdiction; defense counter-air; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and command and control.

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.

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.

Naval Base San Diego

Naval Base San Diego, which locals refer to as 32nd Street Naval Station, is the second largest Surface Ship base of the United States Navy and is located in San Diego, California. Naval Base San Diego is the principal homeport of the Pacific Fleet, consisting of over 50 ships and over 190 tenant commands. The base is composed of 13 piers stretched over 977 acres (3.95 km2) of land and 326 acres (1.32 km2) of water. The total on base population is over 24,000 military personnel and over 10,000 civilians.

San Diego County, California

San Diego County, officially the County of San Diego, is a county in the southwestern corner of the state of California, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 3,095,313. making it California's second-most populous county and the fifth-most populous in the United States. Its county seat is San Diego, the eighth-most populous city in the United States. It is the southwesternmost county in the 48 contiguous United States.

San Diego County comprises the San Diego-Carlsbad, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is the 17th most populous metropolitan statistical area and the 18th most populous primary statistical area of the United States as of July 1, 2012.

San Diego is also part of the San Diego–Tijuana metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area shared between the United States and Mexico. Greater San Diego ranks as the 38th largest metropolitan area in the Americas.

San Diego County has more than 70 miles (110 km) of coastline. This forms the most densely populated region of the county, which has a mild Mediterranean to semiarid climate and extensive chaparral vegetation, similar to the rest of the western portion of southern California. Precipitation and temperature extremes increase to the east, with mountains that receive frost and snow in the winter. These lushly forested mountains receive more rainfall than average in southern California, while the desert region of the county lies in a rain shadow to the east, which extends into the Desert Southwest region of North America.

There are also 16 naval and military installations of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and the U.S. Coast Guard in San Diego County. These include the Naval Base San Diego, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, and Naval Air Station North Island.

From north to south, San Diego County extends from the southern borders of Orange and Riverside Counties to the Mexico-U.S. border and Baja California. From west to east, San Diego County stretches from the Pacific Ocean to its boundary with Imperial County.

Shanti Sethi

Captain Shanti Sethi is an American naval officer, the only Indian-American woman and the 15th female officer to command a major US Navy combat warship. She commanded the guided missile destroyer USS Decatur from 15 December 2010 to May 2012.

USS Decatur

Five ships of the United States Navy have been named Decatur, in honor of Commodore Stephen Decatur.

USS Decatur (1839), was a sloop-of-war built in 1839 and in service from 1840 to 1859.

USS Decatur (DD-5), was a Bainbridge-class destroyer which served mainly in or near the Philippines from 1902 to 1919.

USS Decatur (DD-341), was a Clemson-class destroyer which served from 1922 to 1945.

USS Decatur (DDG-31), was a Forrest Sherman-class destroyer in service from 1956 to 1983, later converted to become the first Self Defense Test Ship.

USS Decatur (DDG-73), is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer commissioned in 1998 and currently in active service.

United States Third Fleet

The United States Third Fleet is one of the numbered fleets in the United States Navy. Third Fleet's area of responsibility includes approximately fifty million square miles of the eastern and northern Pacific ocean areas including the Bering Sea, Alaska, the Aleutian Islands and a sector of the Arctic. Major oil and trade sea lines of communication within this area are critically important to the economic health of the United States and friendly nations throughout the Pacific Rim region.First established in 1943, the Third Fleet conducted extensive operations against Japanese forces in the Central Pacific during World War II. Deactivated in 1945, the fleet remained inactive until 1973, when it was reactivated and assumed its current responsibilities.

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


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