USS Thach (FFG-43)

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Thach in the Persian Gulf, 2003
USS Thach in the Persian Gulf, 2003
Career (US)
Namesake: Admiral John Thach
Builder: Todd Pacific Shipyards, San Pedro
Laid down: 6 March 1981
Launched: 18 December 1982
Sponsored by: Mrs. John Thach
Commissioned: 17 March 1983
Decommissioned: 1 November 2013
Homeport: Naval Base San Diego
Motto: Ready and Able
Status: Decommissioned
Badge: USS Thatch FFG-43 Crest.png
General characteristics
Class and type: Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate
Displacement: 4,100 long tons (4,200 t), full load
Length: 453 feet (138 m), overall
Beam: 45 feet (14 m)
Draught: 22 feet (6.7 m)
Propulsion: 2 × General Electric LM2500-30 gas turbines generating 41,000 shp (31 MW) through a single shaft and variable pitch propeller
2 × Auxiliary Propulsion Units, 350 hp (260 kW) retractable electric azimuth thrusters for maneuvering and docking.
Speed: over 29 knots (54 km/h)
Range: 5,000 nautical miles at 18 knots (9,300 km at 33 km/h)
Complement: 15 officers and 190 enlisted, plus SH-60 LAMPS detachment of roughly six officer pilots and 15 enlisted maintainers
Sensors and
processing systems:
AN/SPS-49 air-search radar
AN/SPS-55 surface-search radar
CAS and STIR fire-control radar
AN/SQS-56 sonar.

AN/SQR-19 Towed Array Sonar System
[1]

AN/SQQ-89 ASW Integration System
[1]
Electronic warfare
and decoys:
AN/SLQ-32 Mk36 SRBOC Decoy System[1]
Armament: As built:
Note: As of 2004, Mk 13 systems removed from all active US vessels of this class.
Aircraft carried: 2 × SH-60 LAMPS III helicopters

USS Thach (FFG-43), an Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate, was a ship of the United States Navy named for Admiral John Thach (1905–1981), a Naval Aviator during World War II, who invented the Thach Weave dogfighting tactic.

History[edit]

Thach was laid down on 6 March 1981 by the Todd Pacific Shipyards Co., Los Angeles Division, San Pedro, California; launched on 18 December 1982; sponsored by Mrs. John Thach, widow of the namesake; and commissioned on 17 March 1984 at Long Beach, Cmdr. Dale H. Moses in command.[2][3]

In 1986, the ship, part of Destroyer Squadron 21, deployed to the Western Pacific as part of a battleship battle group led by USS New Jersey (BB-62).[4]

Thach's mission is to provide anti-air, anti-surface, and anti-submarine protection for carrier battle groups, naval expeditionary forces, replenishment groups, convoys, and other military and merchant shipping. The new direction for the naval service remains focused on the ability to project power from the sea in the critical littoral regions for the world.[5]

Success in the warfare environment of the 1990s and beyond will require thorough evaluation, rapid decision-making and almost instantaneous response to any postulated threat. The systems aboard Thach have been designed to meet these demanding and dynamic prerequisites, and to do so with minimum human interface. The Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk's video data link system brings state-of-the-art computer technology to the warfare arena, as well as integrating sensors and weapons to provide a total offensive and defensive weapons system.[5]

In addition, computers control and monitor the gas turbine engines (the same engines installed on DC-10 aircraft) and electrical generators. Digital electronic logic circuits and remotely operated valves are monitored in Central Control Station which initiate engine start and result in a "ready to go" status in less than ten minutes.[5]

The heart of the ship, though, is the crew. High technology systems demand skilled technicians and professional leadership to be effective. The concept of "minimum manning" means, simply, that with professional sailors, Thach can meet the challenges of modern naval warfare with approximately half the crew found on other ships comparable size and capability.[5]

In late 2006 while deployed to the Southern Pacific, Thach caught fire as she attempted to put out a fire on a drug smuggling ship.[citation needed]

Cmdr. Steven R. Rasmussen, a 1988 graduate of the Naval Academy who took command of the ship 6 October 2006, was relieved of command on 28 February 2008 by the commander of Destroyer Squadron 7.[6]

Fate[edit]

Thach was decommissioned at Naval Base San Diego 1 November 2013, Cmdr. Hans E. Lynch in command. The ship was homeported in San Diego and was part of Destroyer Squadron 23.[7]

Ships Crest[edit]

Like all heraldic Navy insignias, Thach‍ '​s crest has special meaning. The blue and gold colors are traditionally associated with the Navy; blue for the sea and gold for excellence. The pair of wings in the upper crest refers to Admiral Thach’s contributions to naval aviation as a pilot and leader. One of the contributions to naval aviation as a pilot and leader was his invention of the "Thach Weave," symbolized by the interlaced silver chevrons. This two-plane fighter tactic, used to cover each other from enemy fighters, is still used by fighter aircraft today.[5]

The three-pronged trident is shown pointing down from the sky, symbolizing naval aviation’s role of projecting power from the sky and the sea. The three tines of the trident also represent Fight Squadron Three, the unit Admiral Thach commanded during early Pacific carrier battles in World War II. The cross within its outlined border and the wreath refer to Admiral Thach’s first and second awards of the Navy Cross and the Navy Distinguished Service Medal.[5]

The anchor in the center of the insignia focuses attention on the nautical nature of both Admiral Thach’s service to his country as well as that of our ship. The ship’s motto, “Ready and Able,” is representative of Admiral Thach’s preparation and success in battle, as well as the challenge for today’s Sailors serving on board USS Thach.[5]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "FFG-7 Class". Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "Naval Vessel Historical Evaluation USS Thach" (PDF). NAVSEA. 17 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "Thach Ship History" (PDF). 1984. 
  4. ^ "Thach Ship History" (PDF). 1986. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "USS Thach". US Navy. 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  6. ^ Fuentes, Gidget (29 February 2008). "Thach skipper fired for loss of confidence". Navy Times. 
  7. ^ Ryan, MCSC (SW/AW) Donnie W. "USS Thach Decommissioned After 29 years of service". Commander Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet. 

External links[edit]