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Posted: 9/28/2005 6:36:30 PM EDT


Navy's Last Spruance-class Destroyer Decommissioned
Story Number: NNS050927-06
Release Date: 9/27/2005 1:31:00 PM

By Journalist 3rd Class Cynthia Smith, Fleet Public Affairs Center Pacific

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- USS Cushing (DD 985), the last Spruance-class destroyer in service with the U.S. Navy, was decommissioned Sept. 21 on the 26th anniversary of the ship’s commissioning.



Speakers for the decommissioning ceremony included Cushing’s first commanding officer, retired Rear Adm. William C. Miller and Cushing’s current commanding officer, Cmdr. Steven A. Mucklow.

During the ship’s career, Cushing completed 10 deployments, four homeport changes and received multiple awards for excellence. The destroyer was also the last U.S. warship to transit the Panama Canal while under U.S. control, in September 1979.

“This ship caused the fleet to reset the standards of excellence. I am thankful that I was a part of this ship’s 26-year history,” said Miller. “It is the crew that makes the difference, and it should be the crew, not the hull or the steel, that should be treasured.”

As Mucklow accepted the ship's commissioning pennant and was relieved as the ship's final commanding officer, he praised the crew.

“Sailors put the pride in the ship. Without them the past 26 years wouldn’t have happened,” said Mucklow. “We are now part of the legacy of all five ships to carry Cushing’s name, but I will always remember this crew with admiration and respect. It has been my honor to serve with them.”

For Storekeeper 3rd Class (SW) Eric Browning, it will be his shipmates and friends he will miss most.

“I have been on board for three years, and the crew has become my family,” said Browning. “I have had some good times and some bad times on board, but in the end I will miss it all. I could not have asked for a better command.”

Cushing is named in honor of Cmdr. William Barker Cushing, a Naval hero of the Civil War. Cushing led many small boat raids up the rivers of North Carolina, ending with the attack on and destruction of the Confederate ironclad CSS Albemarle in October 1864.

During the battle, Cushing’s boat was swamped. His crew was either killed or captured, but Cushing eluded capture and was promoted and officially thanked by Congress.



From far wing of Arrow:
USS LEYTE GULF (USA)
SNS NUMANCIA (SPAIN)
JDS MYOKO (JAPAN)
PNS KHAIBAR (PAKISTAN)
FGS AUGSBURG (GERMANY)
JDS SAMIDARE (JAPAN)
HMNZS TE MANA (NZ)
ITSS CIROCCO (ITALY)
USS CUSHING (USA)
Astern of Arrow:
JDS TOWADA (JAPAN)
Astern of her:
FSLA MOTTEPICQUET (FRANCE)

Link Posted: 9/28/2005 6:42:54 PM EDT
I was there when she shifted homeport to Yokosuka, Japan in April 1998. She swapped with USS Fife (DD 991) which along with USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60) left Yokosuka for Everett, WA.

Those Spru-cans were damn fine ships, but the Arleigh Burke-class DDGs are pretty bad-ass.

It is kind of sad to see ships in excellent material condition go by the wayside, but our Navy is constantly improving its fleet. Other than becoming reefs (like Caron, and soon to be reefs David R. Ray, Fife and Oldendorf), I'm sure some will end up being sold to Mexico, Greece or Turkey like everything else we decom.
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 6:53:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/28/2005 6:54:15 PM EDT by azcopwannabee]
PRE-SENT ARMS!!!



(Taps Plays Here)(The Battleship Missouri Provides the 21 gun Salute)



ORDER ARMS!!!
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 5:57:06 AM EDT
Hey azcopwannabee,


What's with the flaming vagina avatar? . . .

CMOS
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 6:04:42 AM EDT
twenty-six years sounds like a very short lifespan for a ship. Especially given how long other branches have to keep much of their stuff in service .
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 6:07:20 AM EDT

Originally Posted By tc556guy:
twenty-six years sounds like a very short lifespan for a ship. Especially given how long other branches have to keep much of their stuff in service .



+1 - We have B-52s that are older than that.
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 6:07:44 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 6:14:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/29/2005 6:16:11 AM EDT by tc556guy]

Originally Posted By vito113:

Originally Posted By tc556guy:
twenty-six years sounds like a very short lifespan for a ship. Especially given how long other branches have to keep much of their stuff in service .



But that's 26 years full time of use, a 26 year old plane will have spent 25+ years parked up and innactive, a ship is always on the go.

ANdy


Correct me if I am wrong, but don't ships normally do 3-6 month tours and then rotate back to the US where the crews do ships maintenance, other assignments, etc? I've seen this mentioned in other threads.........thats not exactly "on the go" for 26 years straight, although short of drydock overhauls, you could argue the ships in the water and exposed to the elements for that length of time around the clock.......

As for planes being inactive, my year downstate helping out the C5 guys at Stewart showed me that a good chunk of those planes were anything but inactive except for the time they were in the hanger getting worked on..............
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 6:18:41 AM EDT
What are they being replaced with?
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 6:22:38 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Sandguard:
What are they being replaced with?

Spitballs
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 12:00:05 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 12:17:34 PM EDT
You know, its weird...time was when the Navy kept ships going till they fell apart, I mean WWII vintage destroyers were still in commission in the 80's (Gearings) and the battleships of course.

Now it seems like a 20 year or so lifespan, and thats it.

They are decommissioning the early Tico cruisers too, and they are only about 20 years old. Seems like a waste of resources, unless they build them so shitty that 20 years is all the usefull they get out of them.

Same with all the nuc powered cruisers. Seems to me if you have nuc carriers, it makes sense to keep the nuc cruisers for escorts. I can't believe with the oil situation its cheaper to keep all those gas turbines fueled up.....
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 12:23:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By pzjgr:
You know, its weird...time was when the Navy kept ships going till they fell apart, I mean WWII vintage destroyers were still in commission in the 80's (Gearings) and the battleships of course.

Now it seems like a 20 year or so lifespan, and thats it.

They are decommissioning the early Tico cruisers too, and they are only about 20 years old. Seems like a waste of resources, unless they build them so shitty that 20 years is all the usefull they get out of them.

Same with all the nuc powered cruisers. Seems to me if you have nuc carriers, it makes sense to keep the nuc cruisers for escorts. I can't believe with the oil situation its cheaper to keep all those gas turbines fueled up.....



It all comes down to money for ops, maintenance, and the associated personnel.
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 12:37:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By KA3B:

www.scoop.co.nz/stories/images/0405/443dbf6c22d066c1454d.jpeg
From far wing of Arrow:
USS LEYTE GULF (USA)
SNS NUMANCIA (SPAIN)
JDS MYOKO (JAPAN)
PNS KHAIBAR (PAKISTAN)
FGS AUGSBURG (GERMANY)
JDS SAMIDARE (JAPAN)
HMNZS TE MANA (NZ)
ITSS CIROCCO (ITALY)
USS CUSHING (USA)
Astern of Arrow:
JDS TOWADA (JAPAN)
Astern of her:
FSLA MOTTEPICQUET (FRANCE)



[homer]Mmmm, targets...[/homer]
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 1:36:41 PM EDT
Not that they aren't good ships (finally - I was around when the Paul Foster arrived, making me feel old now) but they are not up to the performance standards set by the new ships and we don't need all that many and don't have the troops to man them all.

The SpruCans were a bastardized attenpt to replace the Forrest Sherman glass and the early designs were similar to some of the ships around now. But they started making design and outfitting compromises leading to a nice but not great ship class. They were build nice and square and blocky becuae that gave a little more room but was much cheaper, but not only was not stealthy the whole ship was a huge collection of radar raflectors.

They were somewhat optimized for ASW (They didn't have a hanger did they?) and most of the AAW capability was left off for budgetary considerations. Also their manning was iffy . I happened to be 1st Lt on the Horne at athe time and I knew the 1st Lt on the Foster. Our ships and jobs were pretty damn similar. My First Division had almost 70 sailors, including 63 non-rates, he had 22 non-rates. You might argue I had at most 20 too many, 10 was maybe more accurate, because the 3" guns were gone and so some of the ammo handler billets were excess, but I could fully man my small boats and unrep stations, he could barely do either, and he didn't have enough sailors to maintain the ship to NSTM requirements.

As a test bed for the follow on classes they were a good thing we learned a lot that was incorporated into following classes.
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 2:39:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By pzjgr:
You know, its weird...time was when the Navy kept ships going till they fell apart, I mean WWII vintage destroyers were still in commission in the 80's (Gearings) and the battleships of course.



Falling apart is not a good option when you are underway. The BBs were not in continuous service. I have been assigned to 5 ships as a pilot and one as ship's company. The newest of those ships was commissioned in 1969. Old ships are no fun to maintain.


Now it seems like a 20 year or so lifespan, and thats it.


Plan is 30 years for surface combatants on average and 50 for carriers. Auxilliaries somewhere in between.


They are decommissioning the early Tico cruisers too, and they are only about 20 years old. Seems like a waste of resources, unless they build them so shitty that 20 years is all the usefull they get out of them.


The ship's being decommed are those with limited capabilities i.e. no VLS. Find another navy that uses its ships anywhere near as hard as the US and see how long those ships last - and how capable they are after that use.


Same with all the nuc powered cruisers. Seems to me if you have nuc carriers, it makes sense to keep the nuc cruisers for escorts. I can't believe with the oil situation its cheaper to keep all those gas turbines fueled up.....


This has been rehashed here several times. You have no idea just how expensive nuclear power is. 2/3 of a ship's total life cycle cost is personnel costs for the crew. Gas turbine engines can run with literally a handful of watch standers. Nukes take so many times more, not to mention that all of that hardware that a nuke plant requires takes up lots of vital space that can be used for other things - space is always at a premium on surface combatants.

I will stop depressing myself with my SWO knowledge and leave the true surface warriers like dport, lwilde, and the crusty padanby to have at you.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 12:40:12 AM EDT
Hey I got those crusts under control.

You know what really makes me feel old is that when I was down at LBNSY in 76 and 77 they were scrapping some of the Benson and Gleaves class destroyers at the scrap yard at the other end of Termianl Island.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 2:58:51 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 4:28:54 AM EDT
My last ship in the Navy was the USS Peterson (DD-969) and I helped decommision her. I guess I'm a little biased but I loved the Spru-cans. It is a sad day to know that thereare no more of them in my Navy.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 4:50:43 AM EDT
Paging the rest of the world. The US Navy is having a fire sale a Dock 10. Get them before they rust, cutting-edge technology (to them anyway) for pennies on the US taxpayer dollar!
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 5:43:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By RedSoxDoc:
My last ship in the Navy was the USS Peterson (DD-969) and I helped decommision her. I guess I'm a little biased but I loved the Spru-cans. It is a sad day to know that thereare no more of them in my Navy.



Were you on Peterson during OEF w/ TR BATGRU? If so I delivered your mail, food, and ammo.
Link Posted: 9/30/2005 6:03:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By H46Driver:

Originally Posted By RedSoxDoc:
My last ship in the Navy was the USS Peterson (DD-969) and I helped decommision her. I guess I'm a little biased but I loved the Spru-cans. It is a sad day to know that thereare no more of them in my Navy.



Were you on Peterson during OEF w/ TR BATGRU? If so I delivered your mail, food, and ammo.



I sure was. I was the flight quarters HM. Let me say thank you 3 years later for all our mail, food, and ammo. Nothing is better at sea than knowing there is incoming mail on the next bird.
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