USS Crommelin (FFG-37)


USS Crommelin (FFG-37)

USS "Crommelin" (FFG-37), twenty-eighth ship of the "Oliver Hazard Perry"-class of guided-missile frigates, was named for five brothers: Vice Admiral Henry Crommelin (1904–1971), Rear Admiral John G. Crommelin (died 1997), Captain Quentin Crommelin (died 1997), Commander Charles Crommelin (died 1945), and Lieutenant Commander Richard Crommelin (1917–1945). "Crommelin" (FFG-37) is the first ship of that name in the United States Navy.

Ordered from Todd Pacific Shipyard, Seattle, Washington on 27 April 1979 as part of the Fiscal year 1979 program, "Crommelin" was laid down on 30 May 1980, launched on 2 July 1981, and commissioned on 18 June 1983.

Operational history

"Crommelin" was assigned to Destroyer Squadron 9 and reached its homeport of Long Beach, California in August 1983.

In 1985, "Crommelin" was assigned to the USS|Constellation|CV-64|6 carrier battle group and deployed to the western Pacific and Indian Oceans. During this deployment, "Crommelin" became the first FFG to successfully engage a high-speed, maneuvering target with missiles. It was also the first ship to complete an operational deployment with the LAMPS MK III weapon system. In June 1986, "Crommelin" received the first Chief of Naval Operations LAMPS MK III Safety Award.

In the summer of 1986, "Crommelin" was awarded every departmental and divisional excellence award and won its first Navy "E" award. In 1987, "Crommelin" was assigned to Destroyer Squadron 13 and began an accelerated deployment with the "Constellation" battle group. "Crommelin" was the first FFG to deploy with two LAMPS MK III helicopters embarked. "Crommelin" was assigned to Commander, Middle East Force from 1 July to 25 August 1987, earning a Meritorious Unit Commendation and Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for the convoy escort of the first five reflagged Kuwaiti tankers in Operation Earnest Will.

On 1 January 1988, "Crommelin" was reassigned to Destroyer Squadron 9, and on 6 March 1988, the ship received a second consecutive Navy "E" award. Upon completion of its second availability period at Todd Pacific Shipyard, "Crommelin" was deployed in March 1989 again to the Persian Gulf. In October 1990 Crommelin was deployed in support of joint service, counternarcotics operations in the Central, South American, and Caribbean theater. "Crommelin" was awarded the Joint Services Meritorious Unit Award for its performance during this deployment. In 1991, "Crommelin" received the Navy "E" as well as its fifth consecutive warfare excellence awards for anti-air and anti-surface warfare, navigation and seamanship, damage control, engineering, and communications. On 1 September 1991, "Crommelin" shifted homeports to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and joined Destroyer Squadron 31.

"Crommelin" completed a second four-month counternarcotics deployment in the Central, South American and Caribbean theater from November 1992 to March 1993. Upon return to its homeport of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, "Crommelin" was assigned to Commander Naval Surface Group, Middle Pacific.

From 6 July to 14 December 1994, "Crommelin" was assigned to the USS|Kitty Hawk|CV-63|6 battle group in the Western Pacific for Korean contingency operations. There, "Crommelin" received the Meritorious Unit Commendation Award for the prosecution of a Chinese Han class submarine. Upon completion of this deployment she underwent dry-docking SRA-5 at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, following which she began the cycle for her 1996 Western Pacific deployment with the USS|Carl Vinson|CVN-70|6 battle group.

After a three month work up cycle, "Crommelin" deployed with the "Carl Vinson" battle group on 20 May 1996. This deployment took "Crommelin" and her crew back to the Persian Gulf for a variety of missions, including escorting ships through the Straits of Hormuz, patrolling the Northern Persian Gulf, and conducting maritime interception operations. "Crommelin" returned from that deployment on 20 November 1996.

Following WESTPAC 96, "Crommelin" entered SRA-6 from January to March 1997. "Crommelin" received upgrades to all major weapons systems as well as the engineering plant. Following this availability, "Crommelin" and her crew began yet another work up cycle to prepare for her fifth deployment to the Persian Gulf as part of the U.S. 5th Fleet. "Crommelin" departed Pearl Harbor on 21 February 1998. During this deployment "Crommelin" distinguished herself by setting a Fifth Fleet record for number of vessels boarded and tonnage of illegal Iraqi petroleum seized and diverted.

"Crommelin" completed a demanding nine week private sector SRA in early 1999, where she made major repairs and upgrades throughout the ship. Immediately following the SRA, "Crommelin" aggressively entered the inter-deployment training cycle and proceeded to set numerous records throughout her training. Chief among these was condensing what is normally a twelve week training cycle into nine weeks. Other achievements were completing cruise missile test qualification on the first day of training and completing engineering qualification with 100% of drills and 28 of 29 evolutions graded as "satisfactory".

With her training cycle complete, "Crommelin" departed Pearl Harbor on 24 August 1999 for a three month deployment to the Eastern Pacific in support of counter narcotics operations. During this deployment, "Crommelin" steamed 77 of 92 days, flew more than 350 mishap-free SH-60B flight hours, and was a key player in four major cocaine seizures. Upon her return to Pearl Harbor on 24 November 1999, "Crommelin" immediately began the work up cycle for her next deployment with USS|Abraham Lincoln|CVN-72|6 battle group in August 2000.

In February 2000, "Crommelin" was awarded the Battle "E" for Destroyer Squadron 31 as well as each of the four command excellence awards. Other accomplishments included the 1999 Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet Retention Excellence Award, 1999, Commander Naval Surface Forces Pacific (COMNAVSURFPAC) Surface Ship Safety Award, COMNAVSURFPAC Self-Sufficient Ship of the Quarter Award (Q4 FY99 and Q2 FY00), and the distinction of being the first Pearl Harbor ship to hoist the Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist Pennant.

During WESTPAC 2000, eighteen non-compliant vessels were boarded by "Crommelin"s Visit Board Search and Seizure Team, twelve were found to be smuggling petroleum products from Iraq and diverted to friendly ports for disposal of the ships and their illegal cargo. On the eve of the homecoming from deployment, "Crommelin" received her second consecutive Battle Efficiency Award.

From 18 April 2001 to June 2001, "Crommelin" was dry-docked at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard for Dry-dock Selected Restricted Availability. In January 2002 "Crommelin" received the 2001 COMNAVSURFPAC Surface Ship Safety Award.

From 12 May 2004 to 12 November 2004, "Crommelin" was deployed to the SOUTHPAC AOR in support of the war on drugs, conducting counter-narcotics operations in the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. In that time, she became the most second most successful counter-narcotics ship with the seizure of Auto lb|44806|0 of cocaine, including 26,369 pounds from the Belize-flagged vessel San Jose on September 23, 2004. She held that record until the bust of the Panamanian flagged motor vessel Gatun off the coast of Panama in March 2007, carrying approximately Auto lb|42845|0 of cocaine. During this deployment, America's Battle Frigate also participated in exercises UNITAS-04 and PANAMAX-04, training the Navies and Coast Guards of various Central- and South-American countries in counter-narcotics and counter-terrorism tactics at sea.

From 5 May 2006 to 15 September 2006, she participated in CARAT-06, along with USS|Salvor|ARS-52|2, USS|Tortuga|LSD-46|2, USS|Hopper|DDG-70|2 and USCGC|Sherman|WHEC-720|6. In that time, Task Group 73.1 trained the Navies of several Southeast Asian countries in Maritime boarding and counter-terrorism tactics. Upon returning to home port, she entered an intensive dry dock period and as of May 2007, is preparing herself for continued operations in the wars on terror and drugs.

hip's crest

The colors blue and gold are traditionally associated with the U.S. Navy. The three interlaced chevronels represent the Crommelin brothers after whom the ship is named. The two winged chevronels refer to the air exploits of Lieutenant Commander Richard and Commander Charles Crommelin who served and died as Naval aviators. The central chevronel over which an anchor is placed alludes to the surface ship career of Vice Admiral Henry Crommelin, the oldest and first to serve of the brothers.

The linked chevronels suggest the strength and determination of U.S. naval forces in their efforts to regain enemy held territories of the Pacific Ocean throughout World War II. It was in this effort that the Crommelin brothers so distinguished themselves.

The rampant sea lion is a symbolic creature associated with valor at sea; its head and mane are scarlet for courage and its body is gold for zeal and achievement. The scarlet sword recalls the fierce conflict of the Pacific war. The wings and silver collar with blue cross signify some of the decorations the brothers received, such as the Navy Cross, the Silver Star and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

References

External links

* [http://www.crommelin.navy.mil/ Official website]
* [http://www.nvr.navy.mil/nvrships/details/FFG37.htm Naval Vessel Register entry for USS "Crommelin"]
* [http://www.navsource.org/archives/07/0737.htm navsource.org: USS "Crommelin"]
* [http://www.united-states-navy.com/ffg/FFG37.HTM united-states-navy.com: USS "Crommelin"]
* [http://www.ffg37.org USS Crommelin Alumni Association]
* [http://www.maritimequest.com/warship_directory/us_navy_pages/frigates/pages/crommelin_ffg_37_page_1.htm MaritimeQuest USS Crommelin FFG-37 pages]


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