Enter subhead content here "The Persian Excursion, 1983"
TCH deployed May 1983 headed for duty in the Persian Gulf. During this six month deployment TCH conducted:
- a brief stop at NavSta Rota (inchopping),
- multiple stops in Bahrain, a brief visit to Mombosa (Kenya),
- a Brief Stop for Fuel (BSF) in Djibouti (Home to the French Foreign Legion Boot Camp),
- a stop
in Palma de Majorca (Spain),
- a stop in Rota for Outchop (and to get swallowed into ComCruDesGru Two's clutches
under Adm. Chang ("Chang the Merciless") as he was bringing most of the IKE Battlegroup (less the carrier and the
- and a stop in Bermuda on the way home to pick up Tiger Cruisers.
deployed with the USS DEYO for the six month deployment. We ALMOST lost the Tiger Cruise on the way home, but because
HART and DEYO had people flying to Bermuda to meet us, we were detached to complete this important "family commitment".
Sea Stories from the deployment include:
- Contaminated Potable Water: Treatment chemicals (the wrong
ones) were placed into the potable water tank (by accident). In the middle of the summer heat of the Persian Gulf, we
were without potable water for the better part of two days. Every canned beverage on the ship was consumed (we were
down to the little Bluebird cans of pineapple juice by the end). When we had flushed, and pumped, and flushed the tanks
enough, we pulled into Bahrain for one more time with a water barge. A hose was run from the barge to a splitter, with
one line feeding the potable water tanks and the other run across the flight deck for crew showers (on the fantail, at anchor,
in port). I was standing OOD Inport, in shower shoes & shorts, and I was one of the better dressed crew members
at the moment!
- While conducting an UNREP with the USS TARAWA (LHA-1) in the Red Sea, the refueling probe from TARAWA
stuck in our receiver. We had to uncouple the receiver, tie it off to the probe, and send the whole package to TARAWA
for dis-assembly. The receiver was later returned to us.
- While conducting (Naval Gunfire Support) NGFS off
Somolia, we hosted a USMC Cobra on the flight deck, and hosted the pilots to a bit of lunch. Unusual aircraft for our
- Memories of port visits to Bahrain always include the wonder of "beer on the barge".
In a time when the Navy was still "dry", even after an extended period at sea, was would anchor out in Bahrain.
Some of the crew could hit the beach (one duty section for a few hours). A second duty section enjoyed beer (limit 2
per) and burgers on the garbage barge along side (after all, it wasn't a USN ship) while the section that had duty had
burgers and soft drinks. Beer, burgers, and garbage in the summer heat ... what a picnic!
- While in port in
Mombosa, several of the crew (including the Captain) enjoyed a brief overnight safari. Things started heating up in
Lebanon, and we got orders to get underway to escort the Pacific Fleet ARG (Amphibious Readiness Group) that we had worked
with in Somolia as they headed for the Suez Canal "in case". The Persian Gulf (COMMIODEASTFOR) flagship USS
LA SALLE was in port with us as well, and COMMIDEASTFOR's Chief of Staff came over to offer to sail with us "until
the Captain can rejoin". Our XO (LCDR Dave McCullough) informed the C of S that he (the XO) was qualified for Command
at Sea and would take the ship out if the Captain was not able to rejoin in time. (The CO made it back, just in time.)
- We steamed around the Persian Gulf at slow speeds, in a station, observing what was going on. A lot of fishing
was conducted off the fantail.
- We made the transit home with six watch sections, including an all ESWS (Enlisted
Surface Warfare Specialist) leadership team for one section. The Senior Enlisted Advisor (OSCS) was the OOD, the BMC
was the JOOD, the ETCS was the CICWO, and the BTCS was the EOOW.
- We had some experimental sight glass gauges down
in the main spaces, one of two or three ships in the fleet with them. One of the other ships determined they leaked,
and tech reps arrived to pull / replace them. They had a radioactive content in them and the sealed containers with
the now-removed sight glass gauges were locked in the Deck Division office (port side, aft) for the transit home. We
joked that we were an FFN, or nuclear Frigate!
Late Summer 1984
- We conducted a short, three day visit to Bermuda in June 1984. Some of the wives
flew over for a short visit. My wife reported the experience of being alone on a plane full of newlywed couples was
interesting, especially when she told them she was meeting her husband in Bermuda!
- TCH was preparing for a complex overhaul. The folks from SIMA Norfolk
were assisting the preparation, including the removal of the 5"/54 Mk 42 Mod 9 gun mount, ASROC Launcher, and Mk. 68
Fire Control Director (all headed to Naval Ordnance Station Louisville for their own overhauls). When the gun barrel
was pulled and being lifted, it pitched out of the sling it was in (error on the play by the SIMA rigging crew) and punched,
breach end first, into the forecastle deck. It came to rest with about a 70 degree angle (to the horizon). The threads of
the barrel were not damaged, and that barrel (after some clean up of both the barrel and the skivvies of the sailor in the
berthing compartment below where the barrel punched through) was eventually re-installed and used following the ship's
overhaul. The day after the barrel incident, the ASROC launcher was being prepared by the ship's crew according
to SIMA directions. When the port side guide (cells 1 & 2?) was elevated for the removal of some bolts, it continued
back / up / off the launcher base, slapped the face of the superstructure (the blast doors), and landed on deck. Within
two days we became the only frigate on the waterfront with a fixed 5" gun, and the first ship in the fleet with a Vertical
OPERATION DESERT SHIELD / DESERT STORM (1990/91):
- We conducted
a number of Low Visibility Navigation practices, backing down from the pier at GTMO to the channel bouy that started the navigation
exercise. This practice came in handy when we did our overnight R&R trip to Ocho Rios, Jamacia where we tied up
to the Boxiute (sp?) Pier (used in one of the early James Bond movies with Sean Connery). No tugs available, so we dropped
the keel anchor coming into the pier, then used it as a kedge anchor to help us get away from the pier. With no room
to turn in the port, we actually BACKED through the break water and put to sea stern first!
- While conducting boarding operations
in the North Red Sea (under the wonderful, excellent guidance of the staff of Destroyer Squadron 24 from Mayport, FL), the
HART was called upon to provide assistance to the USS BIDDLE (CG-34) after the BIDDLE's rudder fell off! Seems the
BIDDLE belonged to the only class of US Cruisers with two shafts / one rudder. While BIDDLE's crew was boarding
and inspecting a ship, the BIDDLE rudder proceeded to the bottom of the sea. HART got the call to tow BIDDLE to the
south end of the Suez Canal so an ocean going tug could take BIDDLE through "the ditch" and into the Med for a dry
docking and new rudder. With the BIDDLE in tow, HART claimed to be a New Threat Upgrade Frigate (FFG?).
Neal Jefferis, LCDR USN (Ret.)
1LT / Gunnery Officer (and Conning Officer backing out
of Ocho Rios) Sep.82 - Sep 85 --- and DesRon 24 Staff Combat Systems / Material Officer during Operation Desert Shield
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Jamie Harr (ET2 83-85) adds "
to remember a show for a Russian trawler that the state dept. might not consider politically correct as well as some Yemeni