USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG-54)

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USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG-54)
USS Curtis Wilbur in the Persian Gulf, 1999
Career (US)
Name: USS Curtis Wilbur
Namesake: Curtis D. Wilbur
Operator:  United States Navy
Ordered: 13 December 1988
Builder: Bath Iron Works
Laid down: 12 March 1991
Launched: 16 May 1992
Commissioned: 19 March 1994
Homeport: Yokosuka, Japan
Motto: Prudens Potens Patria
(Judicious Power for Country)
Nickname: Steel Hammer
Status: in active service, as of 2014
Badge: USS Curtis Wilbur DDG-54 Crest.png
General characteristics
Class & 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)
Range: 4,400 nautical miles at 20 knots
(8,100 km at 37 km/h)
Complement: 33 Officers
38 Chief Petty Officers
210 Enlisted Personnel
Sensors and
processing systems:
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Armament:

1 × 29 cell, 1 × 61 cell Mk 41 vertical launch systems with 90 × RIM-156 SM-2, BGM-109 Tomahawk or RUM-139 VL-Asroc missiles
1 × Mark 45 5/54 in (127/54 mm)
2 × 25 mm chain gun
4 × .50 caliber (12.7 mm) guns
2 × 20 mm Phalanx CIWS

2 × Mk 32 triple torpedo tubes
Aircraft carried: 1 SH-60 Sea Hawk helicopter can be embarked

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.

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.

Ship history[edit]

1990s[edit]

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.

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 the Persian Gulf. Steaming in company with Kitty Hawk and Chancellorsville (CG-62), 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 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[edit]

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 Yokosuka-based ships O'Brien (DD-975), Cowpens (CG-63), John S. McCain (DDG-56), Chancellorsville, Cushing (DD-985), Vandegrift (FFG-48), Gary (FFG-51), Sasebo-based Essex (LHD-2), and John Ericsson (T-AO-194) and Japan Defense Ship Sagami (AOE-421) 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 Ericsson and Sagami, which had conducted replenishments at sea with several ships earlier in the exercise.

Furthermore Curtis Wilbur was the first ship to enter the port of Da Nang, Vietnam, since 1976 in a relationship building port stay in August 2004.

In March 2011, in company with the carrier Ronald Reagan, the ship was deployed off northeastern Honshu, Japan to assist with relief efforts after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.[1] During that time, the ship may have been exposed to leaking radiation from the Fukushima I nuclear accidents.[2][dead link]

Awards[edit]

USS Curtis D. Wilbur earned the 2013 Captain Edward F. Ney Memorial Award [3]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Rabiroff, John. "U.S. military delivers 40 tons of supplies to hardest-hit areas," Stars and Stripes (US). 17 March 2011; Seawaves,"Warships Supporting Earthquake in Japan"
  2. ^ Stewart, Joshua. "Navy ships off Japan move to avoid radiation", Japan Times, 14 March 2011, retrieved 15 March 2011.
  3. ^ [1]

References[edit]

External links[edit]