24 APR 1978
|Commanding Officer, USS ELLIOT (DD 967)|
Director of Naval History, Washington, Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.
|Subj:||OPNAV Report 5750-1|
|Ref:||(a) OPNAVINST 5750.12B|
|Encl:||(1) USS ELLIOT Commissioning Brochure|
(2) Commander Fleet Training Group, San Diego ltr ser C126 of 14 April 1977
(3) USS ELLIOT ltr ser C-1/77 of 10 July 1977
(4) USS ELLIOT ltr ser 134/78 of 31 March 1978
1. As required by reference (a), the following initial report of significant events in the service life of ELLIOT is submitted.
2. ELLIOT was commissioned in formal ceremonies on 22 January 1977, at Pascagoula, Mississippi. Enclosure (1) is a copy of the commissioning program. Welcoming remarks were made by CAPT W. E. McGARRAH, Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair. The guest speaker was introducted by RADM R. G. ROGERSON, Deputy Commander, Naval Surface Force, Pacific. The Honorable David F. EMERY, United States Congressman, First District, State of Maine, made the principal address. ELLIOT was placed in commission by RADM R. F. HOFFMAN, Commandant, SIXTH Naval District. Commander D. L. GURKE accepted command and the first watch was set at 1147 Central Standard Time. Mrs. Albert B. ELLIOT, the ship's sponsor, presented the ship with a portrait of her son, LCDR Arthur J. ELLIOT, for whom ELLIOT is named. The portrait now hangs in the ship's wardroom.
ELLIOT, the fifth ship of the SPRUANCE Class, is a highly versatile multi-mission destroyer, capable of operating independently or in company with amphibious or carrier task forces. Her primary mission is to operate offensively in an anti-submarine warfare role with additional mission areas of anti-air warfare, surface warfare, shore bombardment, command and control, and mobility. ELLIOT was designed and built by Ingalls Shipbuilding Division of Litton Industries in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
3. Significant events in the period 22 January - 31 December 1977, are as follows:
a. ELLIOT got underway of 24 January for her maiden voyage, transiting from Pascagoula, Mississippi, to San Diego, California, via the Panama Canal. She was assigned to the U.S. Pacific Fleet as a unit of Destroyer Squadron NINE, under the administrative control of Commander, Cruiser Destroyer Group FIVE and Commander, Naval Surface Forces, Pacific.
During the transit, daily drills at General Quarters were conducted in order to familiarize the officers and men with all aspects of operation of this new ship. Extensive watch section training and "hands on" demonstrations were conducted by senior personnel and contributed significantly to later successes.
ELLIOT arrived in her assigned homeport of San Diego, California, on 8 February 1977 and was warmly received by awaiting families and friends.
b. After being adjudged "ready to commence Shakedown Training" as a result of the Training Readiness Evaluation conducted by Fleet Training Group, San Diego, or 16 February and having successfully completed testing on the FARACS and SESEF Ranges, ELLIOT was assigned to the operational control of Commander Task Group FIFTY-FOUR POINT ONE and commenced Shakedown Training on 28 February 1977.
The ship proved her seakeeping ability during the first week of Shakedown Training, maintaining station throughout a scheduled two day anti-submarine warfare exercise despite continuous state five seas.
During the five weeks of Shakedown Training, a total of six hundred thirty-one formal exercises were conducted, testing every facet of operational capability expected of a modern warship. As training progressed, a steady improvement was noted in all areas and the ship achieved an overall average grade of "good" (numerical score 84). The final battle problem was conducted on 1 April 1977, and the ship was awared an overall grade of "excellent" (numerical score 91). Further details concerning this period are included in enclosure (2).
c. After successful ocmpletion of Shakedown Training, ELLIOT resumed the scheduled testing program to determine that she met all contract specifications. Weapon System Accuracy Trials, testing all facets of the anti-submarine warfare suite, were conducted and successfully completed at Bangor, Washington, and Nanoose, British Columbia from 17 April thru 28 April. The Combat System Mission Demonstration, testing all components of the ship's combat system, was conducted and successfully completed in the SOCAL operating areas from 7 May thru 13 May. Final Contract Trials, inspecting all areas of the ship, were conducted by the Board of Inspection and Survey at San Diego and in local waters from 31 May thru 4 June. Upon completion of these trials, ELLIOT was adjudged fit for acceptance into the fleet by RADM John F. BULKELEY, PREINSURV.
d. ELLIOT participated in COMBATSYSTEX 1-77/READIEX 4-77 from 20 June thru 29 June. This exercise was conducted using a war-at-sea scenario in a multi-threat environment, and was designed to evaluate the composite warfare coordinator concept and to improve fleet readiness. The participants included a cruiser destroyer group staff, supported by a special warfare group staff, three destroyer squadron staffs, seven cruisers, five destroyers, eight frigates, three amphibious ships, two submarines, and three auxiliaries, plus aircraft from two patrol squadrons, three air anti-submarine squadrons, and three light helicpoter anti-submarine squadrons. Also participating, primarily as aggressor forces, were units from a coastal riverine squadron and aircraft from various attack and fleet composite squadrons.
The exercise was divided into five phases in order to provide maximum training for all units and to ensure sufficient preparation prior to the "hot war scenario". ELLIOT was an active participant in all phases. Phase I consisted of numerous inport drills and training in the mock-ups at Fleet Combat Training Center Pacific and at Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare School Pacific. Phase II commenced with a sortie to anchorage, and proceeded with various drills, swimmer attacks, PT boat attacks and COMBATSYSTEX 1-77, a refresher exercise in anti-air warfare procedures.
Phase III began with an opposed sortie from anchorage. ELLIOT was a unit of the screen for the main body which was opposed by two submarines and units of the coastal riverine squardron. Phasee III then proceeded with numerous type training exercises including anti-air and surface gunnery drills, opposed transits, and anti-submarine warfare exercises.
Phase IV was the war-at-sea scenario and conducted in a multi-threat environment. Opposition was provided by two submarines, two amphibious ships, one aulitiary, units of the coastal riverine squadron, and numerous aircraft which simulated various types of threat platforms which are expected to oppose U.S. Forces in an actual situation.
Phase V was divided into two parts, the mobile sea range group for surface to air missile ships, and the anti-submarine warfare group for ships with primary anti-submarine missions. ELLIOT participated in the anti-submarine warfare group which conducted numerous exercises against the assigned submarines and explored the capabilities of the different ships and sonar equipment in the convergence zone and bottom bounce sound propagation paths. Extensive use of anti-submarine aircraft provided additional realism and ELLIOT's air controllers logged almost seventy hours of actual control time.
ELLIOT supported the staff of Destroyer Squadron NINE throughout the exercise and the professionalism and competency of the Combat Information Center and Communications personnel were noted in an official "Well Done" from the Commodore.
e. ELLIOT returned to Pascagoula, Mississippi, for a five-week Post Shakedown Availability (PSA) at the contractor's shipyard from 16 July thru 20 August. Numerous engineering changes and repair of warranty items were accomplished, improving the overall readiness and reliability of the ship.
f. Upon completion of PSA, ELLIOT transited to Rockland, Maine, the hometown of the naval war hero for whom the ship is named, LCDR Arthur J. ELLIOT, II. During a four-day port visit from 25 August thru 28 August, the ship was warmly welcomed by the Albert B. ELLIOT family and the citizens of the Rockland/Thomaston area. Over two thousand visitors toured the ship during her stay and six hundred fifty members and friends of the ELLIOT family embarked for a six-hour guest cruise and luncheon on 27 August. On Sunday morning, 28 August 1977, an honor guard of officers and crew members attended a memorial service at the grave of LCDR ELLIOT, paying tribute to his heroism and to his ultimate sacrifice.
g. ELLIOT returned to San Diego via the Panama Canal with brief stops in Newport, Rhode Island, and Port Everglades, Florida. On 24 September, ELLIOT entered Long Beach Naval Shipyard and commenced a six-month restricted availability. The primary purpose of the availability was to install additional sensors and weapons equipments which have been developed since the initial design of the ship class. Primary jobs include the installation of the NATO SEA SPARROW Missile System which will increase the ship's defense capabilities against hostile missiles, the HARPOON Missile System which will increase ELLIOT's offensive capabilities, the Satellite communication system which will add a new dimension to ELLIOT's communications suite, various helicpoter flight deck modifications and several other additions and modifications which will increase overall efficiency and reliability of the ship.
Additional operational and technical details associated with the period of this report can be found in the Commanding Officer's Narrative Reports at enclosures (3) and (4).
D. L. GURKE
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