USS Elliot DD-967
Ports of Call

(1977 to 1978)

Liberty Call

The most beloved sound in the Navy

U.S.S. Elliot (DD-967)


Decklog 1977

To: 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:

    1. 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.

    2. 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).

    3. 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.

    4. 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.

    5. 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.

    6. 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.

    7. 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

Decklog 1978

To: 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

  1. As required by reference (a), the following report of significant events for USS ELLIOT (DD 967) during 1978 is submitted.

  2. The year 1978 was a year of development for ELLIOT. This year she took part in many exercises and was required to test, evaluate and master all of her systems and equipment. It was also a time for the crew to prove its training and to put into practice those skills acuqired during Precommissioning.

  3. Significant events during the period January - December 1978, are as follows:

    1. From January through April the ship remained in Long Beach Naval Shipyard for an extensive Restriced Availability (RAV) as ELLIOT commenced her second year of service life. While there, the last of her current weapons and electronic systems were received. The RAV included the installation of the following: SEA SPARROW Missile System, HARPOON Missile System, Electronics Warfare Suite, Satellite Communications System, and various modifications to the flight deck.

    2. USS ELLIOT (DD 967) was underway from the Long Beach Naval Shipyard on 14 April 1978 for sea trials. Upon successful completion of the sea trials and acceptance by the Commanding Officer, ELLIOT moved to Seal Beach, California for her ammunition load-out, arriving there on 18 April 1978. The RAV brought ELLIOT to final ocmpletion with the installation and updating of her present weapons and electronics systems. After receiving her ammunition load-out, ELLIOT departed for her homeport of San Diego arriving at Pier SEVEN, Naval Station on 19 April 1979.

    3. From 15 through 17 May, ELLIOT tested her 5"/54 Mark 45 lightweight guns and MK 86 fire control systems during naval gunfire supprt exercises off San Clemente Island, California. Verious other gunnery exercises were completed as required for the ship's qualification trials. ELLIOT successfully completed all exercises.

    4. From 18 through 24 May 1978, ELLIOT was again underway, this time for the testing of the NATO SEA SPARROW Missile System. Two telemetry configured missiles were fired at two MQM-74 drones. The first non-warhead shot passed less than two feet from its target drone. Both missile firings were considered to be direct hits.

    5. After the testing of the SEA SPARROW System, ELLIOT made a port visit to San Francisco 20-21 May 1978. The ship moored at Pier 45 Embarcadero. USS ELLIOT was open for visiting to the general public and had over 2000 visitors during her stay.

    6. ELLIOT returned to homeport San Diego, and from 5 through 9 June 1978 underwent HARPOON certification and the successful firing of a HARPOON blast test vehicle. Also during June, the COMNAVSURFPAC Propulsion Mobile Training Team (MTT) visited ELLIOT to aid in the preparation for an Operational Propulsion Plant Examination (OPPE). The OPPE was divided into three phases of inport training and underway exercises. The ship's Engineering Department administrative procedures and supporting directives were examined for organization, promulgation and compliance with Type and Fleet Commanders' directives. The programs examined included Plan of Action and Milestones, Command Safety Program, Electrical Safety Program, Tag Out Procedures, Ship's Force Work List Management, Repair FIVE Organization, Propulsion Space Fire Doctrine, Auxiliary Boiler Water/Feedwater Test and Treatment, Fuel Oil Quality Management, Lube Oil Quality Management, Engineering Logs and Records, and Watch Organization. All programs were evaluated as effective, and ELLIOT received an overall grade of satisfactory with above average marks in comparison with other ships recently examined.

    7. On 29 and 30 July ELLIOT served as visit ship at Broadway Pier in San Diego and was visited by approximately 1500 people. While moored there on 29 July, ELLIOT served as the platform for the OCMELEVEN Change of Command when RADM LANGILLE relieved RADM ROGERS.

    8. In July and August prior to the commencement of Refresher Training, ELLIOT successfully completed the Training and Readiness Evaluation (TRE), Sonar Accuracy Checks (SACS), and Deperming.

    9. On 1 August 1978 ELLIOT shifted from the operational command of Destroyer Squadron NINE to Destroyer Squadron THIRTY ONE with Commodore Jonathan T. HOWE in command.

    10. ELLIOT commenced Refresher Training (REFTRA) on 7 August 1978 and in conjuction with REFTRA, departed San Diego for Pearl Harbor on 11 August 1978. ELLIOT held open house to the general public while in Pearl Harbor and was visited by many military personnel anxious to see a SPRUANCE Class Destroyer. ELLIOT conducted exercises in the Hawaiin operating areas with Pearl Harbor REFTRA observers embarked, completing her mid-term battle problem at that time. On the return trip to San Diego 25 August to 1 September 1978, ELLIOT successfully completed a final battle problem and concluded REFTRA. Some of the exercises and drills completed during REFTRA were vertical replenishment, underway replenishment, Z-10-AA Anti-Air and Z-23-G Surface Gunnery Exercises, Radar Tracking Drills, numerous electronic warfare drills and a TOWEX in which ELLIOT towed and was taken in tow by USS JOHN YOUNG (DD 973).

    11. ELLIOT returned to San Diego on 10 September and was visited by Commander Naval Surface Forces, Pacific Fleet, Vice Admiral ST. GEORGE.

    12. In mid-October 1978 helicopter qualifications took place on ELLIOT. Upon completion of these qualifications, ELLIOT was qualified for operations with SH-2 and SH-3 helicopters, a major enhancement to the ELLIOT's ASW role and capability.

    13. From 23 October 1978 through 27 October 1978, ELLIOT was underway in the Southern California operating areas for COMPTUEX 1-79, operating with other units of the Pacific Fleet. ELLIOT embarked HSL-33 LAMPS Helicopter Detachment ONE for this exercise and trained extensively with this unit which would be embarked during the ship's maiden deployment in February 1979. ELLIOT successfully fired several exercise torpedoes during COMPTUEX 1-79. At the completion of the COMPTUEX, ELLIOT returned to San Diego and again served as the platform for a Change of Command. CAPT John POINDEXTER raised his pennant as Commander Destroyer Squadron THIRTY ONE on 1 November 1978.

    14. From November 2nd through the 9th, ELLIOT participated in READIEX 79 with other units of the Pacific Fleet. This provided at sea training in all areas of naval warfare. Areas of particular emphasis were ASW, AAW, NTDS Data operations, LINK communications, and coordination with other units. Significant improvement in all areas was noted. It was during this exercise on 8 November that ELLIOT was visited by member of the House Armed Services Committee, Hon. William D. PRICE and Hon. Leroy J. SPENCE.

    15. Following READIEX, ELLIOT proceeded north for another visit to San Francisco. ELLIOT was berthed at Alameda and although some distance from significant tourist attractions, a good time was enjoyed by all.
    16. Combat Systems Readiness Tests were conducted from the 15th to the 21st of November. This served to evaluate the ship's radars, sensors, computers, and peripheral and auxiliary electronic equipment and support systems. All of ELLIOT's equipment and systems passed as fully operational. From November 24th through the 28th, ELLIOT successfully completed testing and alignment at the FORACS range off San Clemente Island.

    17. ELLIOT spent 4-15 December participating in FLEETEX 1-79, operating with other units of the THIRD Fleet. The units were divided into Blue and Orange forces which opposed each other in an attempt to simulate a combat environment. On 15 December during the FLEETEX, ELLIOT was visited by COMTHIRDFLT, VADM MCKEE, coincident with the firing of a warhead NSSMS shot. The shot was unsuccessful due to fracturing of the radome upon ignition and the resultant erratic flight.

    18. Upon return to port, ELLIOT had her underwater hull cleaned and closed out the year by successfully completing her command inspection on 22 December. This was followed by a holiday standdown and upkeep period. This would be ELLIOT's final training and upkeep period before her maiden deployment on 21 February 1979.

    S. S. CLAREY

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