USS Barbour County (LST-1195)
|Name:||USS Barbour County|
|Namesake:||Barbour County, Alabama,|
|Builder:||National Steel and Shipbuilding Company, San Diego, California|
|Laid down:||7 November 1970|
|Launched:||15 May 1971|
|Commissioned:||12 February 1972|
|Decommissioned:||30 March 1992|
|Struck:||31 July 2001|
|Fate:||Sunk as a target ship, 6 April 2004|
|Class and type:||Newport-class tank landing ship|
|Length:||522 ft (159 m)|
|Beam:||70 ft (21 m)|
|Draft:||17 ft 4 in (5.28 m)|
|Installed power:||3 ALCO/GE generators (750 kW, 1201 A each)|
|Speed:||20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)|
|Capacity:||17,300 sq ft (1,607.2 m2) vehicle, 2000 tons total (500 when beaching)|
|Troops:||360-400 embarked troops|
|Complement:||14 officers, 210 enlisted|
|AN-SPS 10 surface search radar|
|Aviation facilities:||Helicopter landing deck|
Named after Barbour County, Alabama, she was laid down on 7 November 1970 at San Diego, California, by the National Steel and Shipbuilding Corporation and launched on 15 May 1971, sponsored by Mrs. J. Victor Smith. Commissioned at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard on 3 February 1972, Comdr. John G. Schimming in command.
Assigned to Amphibious Squadron (PhibRon) 7, based at Long Beach, California, the ship completed her fitting out and final contract trials in August. After a voyage to Callao, Peru, Barbour County concluded her extended shakedown training in November.
In mid-1973 she was chosen to join Fort Fisher (LSD-40) in a training cruise to the Far East for Naval Academy and NROTC midshipmen. In June, Barbour County sailed to San Diego to embark the midshipman and then set out for the Orient. During the two-month cruise, she visited Pearl Harbor, Yokosuka, and Hong Kong before returning to Long Beach on 3 August. She then returned to the Orient in the place of another tank landing ship.
On 20 January 1974 Barbour County put to sea for an emergency contingency operation in the Gulf of Siam, Operation Eagle Pull, standing off the Cambodian coast ready to evacuate Americans and other foreigners from Phnom Penh. In mid-February, the ship returned to Subic Bay, before returning to the United States, entering her new home port, San Diego, on 14 March.
During September and early October, she took part in Exercise "Potlatch 1," an amphibious exercise with Canadian forces at the northern end of Vancouver Island.
In April 1975 she deployed to the western Pacific again, joining American naval forces off the coast of South Vietnam to participate in Operation Frequent Wind, the evacuation of Americans, other foreigners, and South Vietnamese from Saigon. The ship then returned to her normal schedule of troop lifts and exercises, calling at Okinawa, Taiwan, Subic Bay, before returning to the United States.
After a nine-month overhaul that ended in March 1977, Barbour County resumed normal operations. From 1977 until 1990, the ship made regular deployments to the western Pacific, based at Subic Bay, taking part in exercises, and making calls to Japan, Thailand, Australia, Korea, and Singapore, before returning to San Diego.
Gulf War, 1991
Barbour County's crew heard of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait on 2 August 1990. The ship immediately began preparations to deploy to the Middle East. Departing San Diego on 1 December, she ended the year at Subic Bay. On 5 January 1991, Barbour County passed through the Strait of Malacca, and shifted to Central Command's operational control on 12 January. On the 17th, following the start of air operations in Operation Desert Storm, the ship took up a position off Oman. She took part in Exercise "Sea Soldier IV" on 26 January, launching and recovering 12 amphibious vehicles near Masirah anchorage. The ship also operated off Fujirah until putting into Dubai for upkeep on 9 February.
Barbour County put to sea on short notice on 20 February due to imminent start of the ground war. While steaming west toward Al Jubayl, 250 marines landed on the ship via helicopter. Anchoring off Al Mishab on the 25th, the ship began unloading those troops and equipment to support ground war operations. Upon completion, she moved back to sea, refueled and awaited developments.
Following the victory in Kuwait, the ship returned to Al Mishab on 2 March and began reloading troops and equipment. She spent the next four weeks cruising in the Persian Gulf on contingency operations. On 7 May, the ship sailed into the Arabian Sea. On 12 May, Barbour County received word of the destructive typhoon in Bangladesh and was ordered to assist in disaster relief. Anchoring in the Bay of Bengal on 15 May, the ship conducted two weeks of flight operations in support of Operation "Sea Angel."
She returned to San Diego on 30 June. In mid-October, Barbour County underwent a service inspection and, shortly thereafter, received notice of her decommissioning.
The ship began inactivation procedures on 2 December 1991, and was decommissioned at San Diego on 30 March 1992. She was later towed to the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility at Pearl Harbor for transfer to a foreign navy. Planned loans to Venezuela and Malaysia did not take place, and the ship was struck from the Navy list on 13 July 2001.
On 6 April 2004 USS Barbour County was sunk as a target ship by AGM-65 and AGM-84 missiles, about 100 nmi (190 km; 120 mi) north-east of Honolulu, at 22° 57' 20" N, 160° 5' 1.5" W, in more than 15,000 ft (4,600 m) of water.
- Naval Vessel Register entry for Barbour County
- navsource.org: USS Barbour County
- united-states-navy.com: USS Barbour County
- Commissioning Brochure, USS Barbour County
- USS Barbour County Commissioning Brochure