USS ELLIOT (DD 967)
On New Year's Day, ELLIOT moored along Alava Wharf, Subic Bay Naval Station, Republic of the Philippines. ELLIOT was tasked to conduct an encounter exercise again USS GURNARD utilizing the AN/SQR-19 towed array and our embarked SH-60B LAMPS MK III Det while enroute San Diego. On 20 January 1992, ELLIOT returned to her homeport of San Diego, CA. The reunion with family and friends was made complete by a well-deserved leave and upkeep period.
In March, ELLIOT participated in All Comers At Sea Training (ACAT). Upon completion of ACAT 92-2T, ELLIOT departed San Diego enroute Matzatlan, Mexico. ELLIOT hosted Project Handclasp and assisted in the refurbishment of the local elementary school while in Mexico.
In April, ELLIOT transited to San Francisco for a maintenance availability alongside USS SAMUEL GOMPERS. After a successful maintenance period, ELLIOT departed San Francisco enroute Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station to conduct the offload of all missiles and ammunition in preparation for the upcoming DSRA yard period.
During May through August, ELLIOT rested on the blocks at Southwest Marine Shipyard, San Diego. The crew used this opportunity to implement the installation of many new systems and to attend numerous off-ship schools in preparation for the upcoming training cycle, and eventual deployment.
ELLIOT welcomed her new Commanding Officer on 31 July 1992. Barry M. Costello, Commander, United States Navy, assumed command of ELLIOT, relieving Dallas G. Wilfong, III. Despite being involved in a DSRA at Southwest Marine Shipyard, crewmembers joined efforts in executing an outstanding change of command ceremony.
A full schedule followed with LOA, EMI assessment, TACAN certification, ARE, and ASIR/AAV all coming at a furious pace. ELLIOT successfully passed all inspections through a combination of foresight, careful planning and hard work. During LOA, ELLIOT's engineering team worked overtime ensuring plant readiness for all tests. ELLIOT achieved full flight deck qualifications with the successful completion of ASIR/AAV and ARE. The outstanding teamwork inherent in ELLIOT was evident in this last inspection above all others, when 1st, Repair, Main Propulsion, and Auxiliaries Divisions joined forces to ensure flight deck areas were fully prepared for the inspection.
Mid-August brought many changes to ELLIOT and her crew the most joyous of which was the much awaited departure from the shipyards for the return to Naval Station, San Diego. Along with the change in scenery, crewmembers learned a new navy acronymn with the implementation of "CSOSS" in ELLIOT. Combat Systems Department was further occupied with an ammunition onload from North Island, CA. All of these events occured just in time for ELLIOT to participate in COMPTUEX 92-7T, Gun SQT, and a TORPEX, with these events concluding the hectic month of August.
The completion of CART II in September ended an extremely busy month and a half for the ship since departure from the shipyard. ELLIOT was then assigned an availability with the USS SAMUEL GOMPERS in Alameda, CA where she spent two weeks moored, receiving much needed services. While in Alameda, NAVSEA completed the installation of the Onboard Trainer (OBT). This added capability allows ELLIOT to run complex and challenging training scenarios onboard, thereby providing excellent equipment familiarization for operators and supervisors.
After two weeks, ELLIOT and crew were ready to return home to San Diego. Enroute, they stopped at Naval Ordnance Station, Seal Beach to onload missiles and torpedoes. Hardly had the ship returned home, when her crew was challenged with Total Ship's Training Assessment (TSTA) Phase I. TSTA challenged the ship's crew in every major evolution from Tomahawk and Harpoon scenarios in CIC, to DLQs and highline transfers, VBSS drills and RAS. ELLIOT's crew shined in all evolutions desplaying an outstanding array of skills despite having been in a shipyard for three months.
With TSTA Phase I behind her, ELLIOT looked forward to supporting Commander Third Fleet with Mobile Sea Range (MSR). As the primary coordination platform, ELLIOT was outfitted with equipment to monitor activities of the entire carrier battle group.
During the same underway period, ELLIOT conducted an Outboard system calibration in record time and a surface-to-air gunnery shoot. With the last of her Battle "E" requirements completed, ELLIOT arrived in San Diego for a brief weekend sojourn with family and friends prior to a 5 week long counter narcotics/law enforcement patrol operation.
On November 16th, with HSL 49 Det FIVE embarked, ELLIOT bid farewell to San Diego to commence counter narcotics patrol operations. During this period, the ship embarked many additional riders in support of the operation. Utilizing her extensive organic capabilities, combined with Naval, Coast Guard, and Air Force assets, ELLIOT skillfully patrolled her assigned areas, providing a steady flow of tactical data to authorities in CONUS.
Thanksgiving was observed underway, complete with a superb dinner provided by our Supply Department. When the time came for the port visit to Puerto Vallarta, every crew member was ready. In port, ELLIOT participated in Project Handclasp, assisting in the painting of an orphanage. Local leaders showed their gratitude for the assistance by providing food and drinks for the volunteers. After spreading much American goodwill and cheer, ELLIOT departed Puerto Vallarta to resume the second half of the patrol. During this period the crew took every opportunity to train for upcoming events. Operations and Combat Systems Departments busied themselves with Tomahawk and Harpoon training scenarios, honing the difficult to acquire skills of TMA and database management. Engineering Department conducted numerous drills on the Main Space Fire Doctrine, as well as Engineering Casualty Control Drills in preparation for OPPE.
ELLIOT returned to San Diego on 21 December to the pleasure of the crew, family, and friends. After a successful patrol operation, the crew was ready for the ensuing leave and upkeep period, hailing in the new year.