USS STERETT (DLG/CG 31) Chronological History
September 25 – DLG-31 is laid down at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington.
June 30 – DLG-31 is launched at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington.
March 25 – The initial crew of DLG-31 moved aboard the ship consisting of 24 officers and 382 enlisted men. About twenty percent of the crew check into the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in September/October 1966, forming the nucleus crew, and the other eighty percent checked into the Fleet Training Center, San Diego, forming the balance crew.
April 8 – DLG-31 is commissioned at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington. CAPT Edward A. Christopherson, Jr., assumes command.
May 1 – DLG-31’s 18-man drill team led by LT Matthew L. Wood, Jr., participates in Bremerton’s Loyalty Day Parade.
June 16 – DLG-31 is formally delivered to and accepted by the U.S. Navy. Upon acceptance, the ship is assigned to Commander Cruiser-Destroyer Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, as flagship of Destroyer Squadron THREE, homeported in Long Beach, California.
September 10 – DLG-31 makes its first foreign port visit to Acapulco, Mexico (10 -13 September). During this time, the USS STERETT represented the city of Beverly Hills, Acapulco’s sister city, exchanging gifts between the two cities.
December 31 – DLG-31 officially became sponsors of the ex-USS LOS ANGELES Division of the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet and Navy League Cadets, two groups of 11-16 year old boys, sponsored by the Navy League of America.
June 19 – DLG-31 departs Long Beach, California, in company with USS MACKENZIE (DD 836) enroute to her new homeport Yokosuka, Japan, via Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and Midway Island. COMDERON 3 is embarked during this period.
July 19 – DLG-31 arrives at her new homeport of Yokosuka, Japan.
July 30 – DLG-31 arrives in Danang, South Vietnam for briefings and departed for local operation areas to participate in anti-PT Boat Exercises.
August 25 – SAR alert was ordered with DLG-31’s UH-2A, CLEMENTE 2, piloted by Lieutenant T. A. Melecosky and with co-pilot LTJG P. D. Cullen, was dispatched to the rescue of a A-7 pilot who had ejected about 60 yards from the North Vietnam coast.
August 30 – At 1730, DLG-31’s SAR alert was ordered and an SH3A BIG MOTHER 74, piloted by LTJG J. E. Wiant and co-piloted by LTJG P. D. January was launched for the recovery of a A-4 aircraft pilot over North Vietnam.
September 26 – DLG-31 departs Yokosuka, Japan, in company of USS PROVIDENCE (CLG 6) enroute to the Tonkin Gulf via Subic Bay, R.P. and Danang, South Vietnam, for her second line period (7 – 29 October) earning her first Engagement Star on her Vietnam Service Medal (Vietnam Counter-Offensive V, 01 July to 01 November 1968).
November 8 – After a seven-day visit, DLG-31 departed the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong enroute to the Tonkin Gulf via Subic Bay, R.P. to load missiles and ammunition for her third line period (14 November – 10 December) off the coast of Vietnam.
November 29 – DLG-31 change of command is held onboard while on station in the Gulf of Tonkin while STERETT was Strike Support Ship (SSS) and Search and Rescue (SAR). CAPT Edward A. Christopherson is relieved by CAPT Claude L. Tyler.
January 7 – DLG-31 begins her fourth line period (7 – 27 January) with COMDESRON THREE embarked as Tonkin Gulf SAR Coordinator with HC-7 Det 107 (CLEM II) embarked earning her second Engagement Star on her Vietnam Service Medal (Vietnam Counter-Offensive VI, 02 November 1968 to 22 February 1969).
February 25 – DLG-31 begins her fifth line period (25 February – 12 March) with COMDESRON THREE embarked as Tonkin Gulf SAR Coordinator with HC-7 Det 108 (CLEM II) embarked.
March 17 – DLG-31 conducts SPECOPS with COMCARDIV THREE as CTG 71.0 in the Sea of Japan.
April 16 – DLG-31 is ordered underway on short notice to become flagship of a four ship SAR unit in the Sea of Japan after an EC-121 is downed by the North Koreans (16 – 21 April).
April 22 – DLG-31 is Screen Commander for TG 71.4 during SPECOPS in the Yellow Sea followed by PARPRO Protection Picket (27 April – 14 May).
May 25 – DLG-31 conducts the sixth line period in the Tonkin Gulf (25 May to 19 June) earning her third Engagement Star on her Vietnam Service Medal (Tet 69 Counter-Offensive, 23 February to 08 June 1969).
July 21 – DLG-31 conducts the seventh line period in the Tonkin Gulf (21 July – 1 August).
August 24 – DLG-31 conducts the eighth line period in the Tonkin Gulf (24 August – 6 September) earning her fourth Engagement Star on her Vietnam Service Medal (Vietnam, Summer-Fall 1969, 9 June to 31 October 1969).
September 11 – DLG-31 planned restricted availability lasting until 28 October for the installation of the Ship’s Anti-Missile Integrated Defense System (SAMID), standard missile system, and combat system modifications, which included chaff rocket launchers.
January 14 – DLG-31 conducts the ninth line period in the Tonkin Gulf (14 January – 6 February).
March 17 – DLG-31 conducts the 10th line period in the Tonkin Gulf (17 March – 17 April) earning her fifth Engagement Star on her Vietnam Service Medal (Vietnam, Winter-Spring 1970, 1 November 1969 to 30 April 1970).
May 6 – DLG-31 conducts the 11th and last line period in the Tonkin Gulf (6 – 27 May) earning her sixth Engagement Star on her Vietnam Service Medal (Sanctuary Counter-offensive, 1 May to 30 June 1970).
July 29 – DLG-31 sets sail from Yokosuka to return to the United States after more than 2 years overseas conducting operations in the Western Pacific and off the coast of Vietnam.
August 13 – DLG-31’s third commanding officer assumes command – CAPT Jack Hilton relieves CAPT Claude L. Tyler while enroute to San Diego from Pearl Harbor, HI.
August 15 – After being homeported in Yokosuka, Japan, for over 2 years, DLG-31 arrives at her new homeport of San Diego, California. For her service in Vietnam (2 July 1968 to 30 June 1970), STERETT is awarded the Navy Unit Commendation.
October 15 – DLG-31 begins its first regular overhaul at Long Beach Naval Shipyard. This was destined to be an important overhaul in that STERETT was to receive the conversion to Navy Distillate Fuel, a Third NTDS computer, and the Anti-Ship Missile Defense (ASMD-70) system. The ASMD-70 installation was the first for a DLG class.
March 23 – DLG-31 completes its first regular overhaul at Long Beach Naval Shipyard and returns to San Diego on 26 March.
July 9 – After visiting San Francisco for the 4th of July (2 – 5 July), DLG-31 for the first time visits Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (9 – 13 July).
December 14 – DLG-31 gets underway for at-sea preparation for overseas movement which included a number of exercises with USS SCULPIN (SSN 590). This provided an opportunity to operate in an ASW environment with the LAMPS helicopter that included firing an ASROC and the LAMPS helicopter dropped two air-drop configured Mark 46 torpedoes.
January 7 – In company with the USS BLUE RIDGE (LCC 19) and USS MAHAN (DLG 11), DLG-31 gets underway on her first WESTPAC since returning to the United States.
January 29 – After stops in Pearl Harbor and Guam, DLG-31 pulled into Subic Bay to prepare for duties as CTU 77.0.2. in the Gulf of Tonkin, which included the installation of 50 caliber machine guns on the 04 level, SEE SAW II gear in CIC, and a command picnic on Grande Island.
February 10 – DLG-31 begins her first line period off the coast of Vietnam of the 1972 deployment (10 February – 03 March) earning her seventh Engagement Star on her Vietnam Service Medal (Consolidation II, 1 December 1971 to 29 March 1972).
February 21 – DLG-31 became the first Navy ship to direct the downing of a MIG-21 by an Air Force CAP. STERETT’s AIC was RD1 Bill Bunch.
March 6 – While inport Subic Bay, R.P., CAPT Herbert E. Reichert becomes DLG-31’s fourth Commanding Officer when he relieves CAPT Jack Hilton.
March 21 – DLG-31 begins her second line period off the coast of Vietnam of the 1972 deployment (21 March – 19 May).
March 30 – DLG-31 participated in the downing of two MIGs. AIC was RDC K.C. Hendrix who vectored an F-4 CAP from the 432nd WING in for a clear shot at the first MIG. The second MIG survived six missile shots only to be trapped over Vinh airfield and run out of fuel bringing STERETT’s total of three MIG downings, a record shared at that time by only two other ships.
April 6 – After being shot down by a SA-2, CDR Mason C. Gilfry XO of VA-195 (KITTY HAWK/CVW-11) is recovered by Big Mother 60. The HH-3A then proceeds to DLG-31 where the pilot is examined before his return to KITTY HAWK.
April 19 – DLG-31 is attacked (Dong Hoi Action) by multiple enemy MIG aircraft and missile patrol boats. Engaging with Terrier missiles, she shot down one MIG in an action for which she received the Combat Action Ribbon and a Navy Unit Commendation (NUC).
April 23 – DLG-31’s LAMPS helo is used in a search and rescue (SAR) incident that saves the life of an Air Force F-4 pilot off Dong Hoi, Vietnam.
May 17 – CDR Wilkerson safely bailed out of his plane into the Gulf of Tonkin and picked up by Big Mother 64 from the USS CONSTELLATION (CVA 64) under the control of DLG-31’s controllers.
May 22 – After arriving in Subic Bay for a well-deserved port visit, DLG-31 hosts CINCPACFLT ADM B.A. Clarey who came aboard to personally congratulate STERETT personnel on the recent victories during its 1972 deployment off the coast of Vietnam.
May 29 – DLG-31 begins her third line period off the coast of Vietnam of the 1972 deployment (29 May – 11 Jun).
June 21 – DLG-31 begins her fourth line and last period off the coast of Vietnam of the 1972 deployment (21 Jun – 16 July) earning her eighth Engagement Star on her Vietnam Service Medal (Vietnam Ceasefire Campaign, 30 March 1972 to 29 January 1973).
July 8 – DLG-31’s CAP controller RDCS Reider vectored Air Force planes to a successful interception of two additional MIGs.
August 8 – DLG-31 returns to homeport in San Diego after a 7-month combat deployment with stops in Hong Kong, Subic Bay, Guam and Pearl Harbor. For her service in Vietnam (23 January to 24 July 1972), STERETT is awarded the Navy Unit Commendation.
March 7 – An SH-2D LAMPS Helo from HSL-31, Imperial Beach, flies aboard DLG-31. The ship welcomed aboard four pilots and maintenance personnel remaining aboard until the end of the deployment.
March 9 – DLG-31 departs on deployment with the USS CORAL SEA (CVA 43), USS REASONER (FF 1063) and USS CAMDEN (AOE 1) to form TU 37.1.2 with CAPT Reichert being the Senior Officer present afloat (SOPA) as CTU 37.1.2.
March 12 – DLG-31’s laundry dryer has a small fire rendering it impossible to do the crew’s laundry. While in Pearl Harbor two days later, the laundry dryer was replaced and arrangements were made to have the crews laundry done by a civilian firm. The clean laundry was returned to the ship; however, it seems as though no one had told the laundry to keep the officer’s, CPO’s and enlisted men’s clothing separated because when the laundry bags were opened it was found all the clothes had been mixed together. STERETT’s crew had quite a laundry party separating and finding their own clothes.
March 26 – DLG-31’s helo left STERETT to pick up the Chaplain for divine services. As the helo cleared the deck and was about 1,000 yards off STERETT’s port beam, one of the engines malfunctioned and it crashed into the sea. All three crew members were safely recovered.
April 2 – DLG-31 begins her first line period off the coast of Vietnam of the 1973 deployment (2 April – 30 May).
June 19 – DLG-31 begins her second line period off the coast of Vietnam of the 1973 deployment (19 June – 17 July).
August 2 – DLG-31 begins her third and last line period off the coast of Vietnam of the 1973 deployment (2 – 16 August).
September 6 – DLG-31 returns to homeport in San Diego after a 6-month combat deployment with stops in Yokosuka, Japan, and Pearl Harbor.
February 1 – DLG-31 begins a 11-month Regular Overhaul period at Naval Shipyard, Long Beach, California (1 February – 19 December).
April 26 – CAPT Phillip K. Collins relieves CAPT H.E. Reichert as DLG-31s fifth Commanding Officer while STERETT is still in drydock number 2, Naval Shipyard, Long Beach, California.
December 19 – DLG-31 ends her Regular Overhaul which was estimated to have consisted of approximately one quarter million man-hours of both shipyard and ship’s force devoted to the overhaul which included adding enhanced command and control facilities, crew’s berthing spaces extensive “habitability modernization,” enhanced combat capabilities, and engineering work which equaled all other departments in work hours.
June 30 – With all of her sister ships, DLG-31 is re-designated as a guided missile cruiser (CG 31). CAPT Phillip K. Collins becomes CG-31 first Commanding Officer.
October 4 – Following a brief stop for a final weapons loadout at Seal Beach, the re-designated CG-31 departs San Diego on deployment with COMDESGRU ONE and PHIBRON 7 embarked. During the initial transit via Pearl Harbor and Guam, STERETT performed escort duties for units of Amphibious Squadron SEVEN, and also participated in the Heritage 200 Bicentennial Naval Review in Honolulu.
October 9 – While enroute to Pearl Harbor, HI, CAPT Phillip K. Collins is relieved by CAPT Charles G. Farnham becoming CG-31’s second Commanding Officer.
October 22 – CG-31 arrives in Guam and assumes duty as CTF 75 Flagship and independently steams towards Subic Bay, R.P..
January 5 – CG-31 conducts a crossing the line ceremony at latitude 000°00, longitude 105°46E in the South China Sea.
May 23 – CG-31 completes a 7-month deployment to the 7th Fleet Area of Operations that included port visits to Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, Korea and Japan.
February 17 – CG-31 commences a Western Pacific and Middle East deployment with Sea Snake 14 from HSL-33 (Det ONE) onboard and by participating in RIMPAC 77 Fleet Exercise.
March 11 – In the evening while conducting an exercise with the two French Navy ships, CG-31’s helicopter crashed into the sea killing LCDR Jeff Smith. The ship was able to recover the other two crewman who escaped from the sinking helicopter.
May 6 – CG-31 conducts a crossing the line ceremony at latitude 000°00, longitude 119°19E in the Celebes Sea.
October 6 – CG-31 is greeted by hundreds of STERETT supporters as she returns from a seven-and-a-half month deployment which included port visits in Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, Mauritius, Kenya, Iran, Male, Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Returning home with the ship were 70 sons, brothers, fathers, and friends of crewman who traveled to Hawaii on their own expense to sail to San Diego with the ship as part of the Navy’s “Operation Tiger.”
February 3 – CAPT Charles G. Farnham is relieved by CAPT Joseph S. Donnell III becoming CG-31’s third Commanding Officer on the flightdeck inport San Diego, CA.
June 9 – CG-31 with HSL 35 Det 1 embarked participates in Portland Rose Festival with Commander, Naval Surface Forces Pacific, VADM William St. George, embarked (9 – 12 June).
August 2 – CG-31 participates in the Seattle Seafair (2 – 7 August).
September 26 – With HSL-35 Det ONE embarked, CG-31 departs San Diego on a Western Pacific/Indian Ocean deployment with the USS CONSTELLATION (CV 64) Battle Group that includes USS HOEL (DDG 13), USS WADDELL (DDG 24), USS DECATUR (DDG 31), USS BRADLEY (FF 1041), USS KANSAS CITY (AOR 3), USS NIAGARA (AFS 3), and USS BARB (SSN 596).
October 11 – CG-31’s SN Marvin Burkhart is lost at sea.
December 7 – CG-31 is ordered by the National Command Authority to proceed to the Gulf of Iran to await further orders in support of contingency operations.
March 11 – For the second time in the deployment, CG-31 transits the Malacca Straits westward to provide an American presence in the area of the border conflict between North and South Yemen. The transit is in company of USS CONSTALLATION (CV 64) and is completed in five days at a speed of 28 knots. The tension was high with frequent overflights by Soviet and Soviet supplied aircraft. STERETT is awarded a Meritorious Unit Citation (12 March – 19 April 1979).
April 16 – CG-31 conducts a crossing the line ceremony at latitude 000°00, longitude 70°25E after departing Diego Garcia in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
May 17 – CG-31 returns from a 7-month deployment to the 5th and 7th Fleet Area of Operations with port visits to the Philippines, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Thailand and Diego Garcia.
July 24 – CG-31 arrives at Long Beach Naval Shipyard for a Regular Overhaul. The ship is declared uninhabitable; therefore, the crew initially moves aboard the USS BELLEAU WOOD (LHA 3) then onto barracks 297 for the reminder of the yard period.
February 6 – CAPT Joseph S. Donnell III is relieved by CAPT Daniel C. Richardson becoming CG-31’s fourth Commanding Officer at U.S. Naval Station Long Beach, CA.
October 19 – CG-31 returns to homeport San Diego after completing a 15-month overhaul at Long Beach Naval Shipyard (24 July 1979 – 17 October 1980). She is moored outboard of the USS GRIDLEY (CG 21) at pier four.
December 4 – During READIEX 1-81 in the Southern California OP Areas, CG-31 conducts a burial at sea service and the remains of twelve people are committed to the deep.
January 1 – CG-31 begins the year moored outboard of USS LEAHY (CG 16) at pier four, Naval Station, San Diego. She starts preparing for her scheduled change of homeport to the Philippines in the summer by completing Supply Material Inspection, Weapons Certifications, Refresher Training, and a Nuclear Weapons Acceptance Inspection.
July 27 – CG-31 departs San Diego enroute to its new overseas homeport in the Philippines, with stops in Pearl Harbor for many briefings concerning events and procedures for the Western Pacific area, and a brief stop for fuel in Guam.
August 19 – CG-31 arrives at her overseas home port of Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines. Upon arrival, the ship is greeted and visited by many awaiting families and dignitaries including Rear Admiral Donald P. Roane CTF-73, Rear Admiral Huntington Hardisty CTF-70, Rear Admiral Richard M. Dunleavy COMNAVUSPHIL, and the Vice Mayor of Olongapo City. The ship then commenced a regular three-week upkeep at Alava Pier 5/6, SRF Subic Bay.
September 4 – CG-31 is visited by the 21st Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Thomas B. Hayward, and the 4th Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Thomas S. Crow.
September 11 – CG-31 is visited by the Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet, Admiral James D. Watkins.
February 13 – While inport Sasebo, Japan, CAPT Daniel C. Richardson is relieved by CAPT George E. Sullivan III becoming CG-31’s fifth Commanding Officer.
March 23 – CG-31 participates in Team Spirit ’82 with the MIDWAY Battle GROUP (23 March – 01 April).
May 30 – On its way from Subic Bay to Singapore, CG-31 conducts a crossing the line ceremony at latitude 000°00, longitude 106°00E in the South China Sea.
June 6 – CG-31 participates in Cobra Gold ’82 with the Royal Thai Navy (6 – 13 May).
June 10 – CG-31 rescued a boat of 15 refugees who had been beset upon by pirates and left to drift. All crewmembers aboard are awarded the Humanitarian Service Medal.
June 20 – After leaving Thailand in transit with TURNER JOY, BENJAMIN STODDART, and LYNDE MCCORMICK, CG-31 is fired on by Vietnamese fishing boat 20NM south of Con Son Island, SRV.
October 13 – Inport Subic Bay, R.P., CG-31 celebrates the Navy’s 207th Birthday with a cake cutting ceremony on the mess decks.
March 6 – CG-31 participates in Team Spirit ’83 conducted in the Sea of Japan and East China Sea (6 – 17 March).
July 2 – CG-31 host the COMNAVSURFGRUWESTPAC Change of Command ceremony when Commodore P.D. Butcher relieves Rear Admiral D.P. Roane.
July 6 – After conducting a Dependent’s Cruise to Manila (3 July), CG-31 gets underway to participate with the USS NEW JERSEY (BB 62) Battle Group in Battle Week 83-2 (6 – 11 July).
July 20 – CG-31 rescues 173 Vietnamese refugees who were adrift off the Southern Coast of Vietnam.
July 21 – CG-31 picks up a second boat with 89 Vietnamese refugees. A total of 262 Vietnamese refugees were turned over to Thai authorities in Pattaya Beach, Thailand, on 22 July. STERETT received her second Humanitarian Service Award for the rescue.
September 8 – CG-31 gets underway and serves as flagship for CTF-71 during the search and salvage operations following the downing of Korean Airline flight KAL 007 by Soviet forces. STERETT spends 55 days on scene and is awarded the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation (KPUC) and a Meritorious Unit Citation (14 September – 5 November).
December 7 – While at sea, CG-31 is visited by the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral James D. Watkins.
January 5 – CG-31 deploys to the Middle East as part of Battle Group ALFA with the USS MIDWAY (CV 41), relieving the USS RANGER (CV 61) and Battle Group ECHO.
February 15 – While at sea in Indian Ocean, CAPT George E. Sullivan III is relieved by CAPT Jimmy H. McCoy becoming CG-31’s 6th Commanding Officer.
April 19 – Enroute to Singapore, CG-31 conducts a crossing the line ceremony at latitude 000°00, longitude 083°12E in the Indian Ocean.
May 11 – CG-31 returns to homeport Subic Bay, R.P., having completed a four-month Indian Ocean cruise that consisted of 100 continuous days at sea and port visits to Singapore and Pattaya Beach, Thailand.
September 17 – At the completion of a two-week training availability in Yokosuka, Japan, CG-31 conducted a Group Sail with Canadian Destroyer Squadron Four of the Royal Canadian Navy enroute to Subic Bay, R.P.
March 14 – CG-31 participates in Team Spirit ’85, a multi-services exercise off the Coast of Korea. STERETT served as AAW picket in the East China Sea, Yellow Sea and Sea of Japan (14 – 24 March).
March 23 – CG-31 is ordered to shadow a Soviet Task Group headed by the aircraft carrier NOVOROSSYISK and escorts it to the vicinity of their homeport of Vladivostok.
June 24 – CG-31 deploys with Battle Group ALFA (MIDWAY Battle Group) to the Indian Ocean.
August 23 – Enroute to Diego Garcia with the USS KIRK (FF 1087) and USNS KILAUEA (T-AE-26), CG-31 conducts a crossing the line ceremony at latitude 000°00, longitude 065°53E in the Indian Ocean arriving the next day for a five-day tender availability with the USS SIERRA (AD 18).
August 30 – CG-31 is detached and independently steams back to Subic Bay via Singapore for a short refueling stop (4 September) at Sembawang Pier, and liberty stop in Pattaya Beach, Thailand (6 – 10 September) for R&R.
September 16 – CG-31 returns from deployment as part of Battle Group ALFA (MIDWAY Battle Group) and begins SRA-3 which includes dry dock (26 September – 23 November).
October 10 – CAPT Jimmy H. McCoy is relieved by CAPT John L. Lockett III becoming CG-31’s 7th Commanding Officer while the ship was in Drydock inport Subic Bay.
March 15 – CG-31 participates in Team Spirit ’86 and is assigned anti-aircraft warfare picket in the northern Sea of Japan (15 – 22 March).
June 19 – After a 5-day inport visit to Inchon, Korea, CG-31 gets underway and participates in target practice for USS NEW JERSEY (BB 62) in the Sea of Japan.
June 21 – At about 0230 local time while operating with Task Group 70.10 and Task Groups 76.4, CG-31 runs aground near Yeongil-Man Bay, a bay near Pohang, Korea.
July 2 – At Ship Repair Facility, Subic Bay, CG-31 begins an interim dry dock period that would last until mid-August to repair damage after running aground near Pohang, Korea (2 July – 15 August).
August 6 – After a brief change of command ceremony, CAPT John L. Lockett III is relieved by CAPT Fred W. Bailey becoming CG-31’s 8th Commanding Officer.
September 22 – CG-31 begins an extensive inport period that would last until 3 December as Selected Repair Availability 4 (SRA-4).
September 27 – CAPT Fred W. Bailey is relieved by CAPT Richard P. Genet becoming CG-31’s 9th Commanding Officer following a colorful change of command ceremony alongside Bravo Pier, Ship Repair Facility, Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines.
January 28 – For the first time since 1981, CG-31 returns to the United States with a port visit to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, to complete various training including SAR, firefighting and General DC training for the entire crew. Additionally, numerous inspections were conducted, and the Combat Systems Sea Qualifications Test was successfully completed (28 January – 15 March).
May 18 – As part of Battle Group ALFA, CG-31 departs Subic Bay enroute to Sydney (3 – 7 June) and Melbourne, Australia (10 – 14 June).
May 29 – Enroute to Sydney, Australia, CG-31 conducts a crossing the line ceremony at latitude 000°00, longitude 151°30E in the Philippine Sea.
July 21 – CG-31 begins SRA-6. Thousands of man-hours are invested over the next three months to ensure the ship is at a peak level of combat readiness (21 July – 13 October).
November 8 – CG-31 departs on a North Arabian Gulf deployment with Battle Group ALFA.
December 1 – As part of Battle Group ALFA with the USS MIDWAY (CV 41) and USS IOWA (BB 61), CG-31 is underway in the Indian Ocean with USS TICONDEROGA (CG 47), USS FOX (CG 33), USS OLDENDORF ( DD 972), USS DEYO (DD 989), USS TOWERS (DDG 9), USS KNOX (FF 1052), USS FRANCIS HAMMOND (FF 1067), USS WHITE PLAINS (AFS 4), USS CIMARRON (AO 177), USNS KILAULEA (T-AE 26) and USNS MISPILLION (T-AO 105).
December 23 – CG-31 conducts a port visit to Muscat, Oman, for the Christmas Holiday (23 – 26 December). Senator Edward Kennedy (Massachusetts) visited with the officers and men of STERETT, relaying greetings from President Ronald Reagan and commenting on the superb job the U.S. Navy was doing in the Persian Gulf area.
December 28 – Two-day tender availability with the USS CAPE COD (AD 43) in Masirah, Oman, that includes the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders USO show. After departing CAPE COD, CG-31 embarked Commander, Joint Task Force Middle East, Rear Admiral Dennis M. Brooks.
February 15 – After turning over with Battle Group ECHO, CG-31 as part of Battle Group ALFA proceeds towards Pattaya Beach, Thailand (23 – 27 February).
March 4 – CG-31 returns to homeport Subic Bay after a 4-month deployment with the USS MIDWAY Battle Group to the 5th Fleet AoR.
March 21 – After arriving in Pusan, Korea, (21- 22 March) CG-31 participates in Team Spirit ’88 as northern picket for Battle Group ALFA and the amphibious readiness group off the coast of Korea. As Team Spirit drew to a close, several units of the Soviet Navy that includes the carrier NOVOROSYSK departed Vladivostok with STERETT tasked to shadow them for a week (23 March – 6 April).
August 19 – CAPT Richard P. Genet is relieved by CAPT Barry M. Plott becoming CG-31’s 10th Commanding Officer.
August 23 – CG-31 hosts the COMNAVSURFGRU WESTPAC Change of Command ceremony, in which RADM G.L. Chesbrough relieved RADM D. C. Richardson. COMSEVENTHFLT, VADM P.D. Miller presides.
February 27 – CG-31 participates in Team Spirit ’89 (27 February – 21 March) assuming duties as advance force commander and anti-air warfare commander.
May 7 – CG-31 rendezvous with USS BLUE RIDGE (LCC 19) and USS RODNEY M. DAVIS (FFG 60), which includes a 7-day port visit to Hong Kong (9 – 15 May).
May 21 – CG-31 concludes a historic 3-day port visit to Shanghai, China, which is a first of its kind for U.S. warships in forty years with USS BLUE RIDGE (LCC 19) and USS RODNEY M. DAVIS (FFG 60).
July 7 – CG-31 rescues 48 Vietnamese refugees in the South China Sea.
September 2 – At 0135, CG-31 rescues six men and a woman found adrift in the South China Sea and transports them to Subic Bay, R.P..
September 23 – CG-31 steams for Japan, acting as escort commander for the underway replenishment group bound for Pacific Exercise (PACEX) ’89.
September 30 – After arriving at Yokosuka, Japan, DESRON 15 and COMCORTFLOT 3 Japanese Self-Defense Force embarks CG-31 for ANNUALEX ’89 (30 September – 7 October). ANNUALEX is a yearly exercise was coordinated between the U.S. Navy and the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) in an effort to improve bilateral interoperability.
October 10 – COMDESGRU ONE embarks CG-31 for Valiant Blitz Exercise with the Republic of Korea. During Valiant Blitz, various exercises are conducted to maintain the readiness of components and units of the Combined Forces Command defending the Republic of Korea.
October 22 – CG-31 hosts the COMDESRON 15 Change of Command in Yokosuka, Japan. The next day, COMDESRON 15 and COMDESGRU ONE disembark.
November 21 – CG-31 rendezvous with Battle Group ROMEO (USS NEW JERSEY) enroute to the North Arabian Sea.
December 21 – Upon departing Singapore, CG-31 conducts a crossing the line ceremony at latitude 000°00, longitude 105°55E in the South China Sea.
January 23 – From 23 – 28 January, CG-31 operates in the South China Sea conducting a Naval Gun Fire Support (NGFS) exercise at the Tabones range.
May 15 – Due to recent attacks on U.S., military personnel, CG-31 personnel begin drawing Hostile Fire Pay until the ship departs Subic Bay May 10, 1991.
May 29 – CG-31 conducts a four-day port visit to Hong Kong during where STERETT helps the American Club of Hong Kong celebrate its sixty-fifth birthday, and 25 First Class Midshipmen are embarked for their summer training (29 May – 1 June).
July 21 – CG-31 gets underway towards Kure, Japan, to begin an American-Japanese Midshipmen training exercise.
July 26 – The 25 U.S. Midshipmen embark three JMSDF destroyers and 25 Japanese Midshipmen plus three JMSDF offices embark CG-31 (26 July – 1 August) in Kure enroute Yokosuka, Japan.
September 10 – Inport Subic Bay, CAPT Barry M. Plott is relieved by CAPT Thomas E. Blount, Jr., becoming CG-31’s 11th Commanding Officer.
November 13 – CG-31 begins operations for a reconnaissance exercise with the USMC embarking 25 Marines from Company B, Third Marine Division for a three-day exercise which includes a one-night insertion, and several day and night shipboard launches and recoveries of Zodiac small boats. This exercise demonstrates the capability for a Marine Reconnaissance personnel to operate from a CG-27 class cruiser by use of the torpedo recovery winch and davit.
December 12 – CG-31 conducts a missile exercise that includes firing two missiles (SM-1 ER and a SM-2 ER) in the South China Sea (12 – 14 December).
December 15 – CG-31 embarks over 450 dependents for a dependent cruise in the South China Sea, which included a fantail barbeque, firing of the PHALANX Close In Weapons System (CIWS), the five-inch gun, fifty-four caliber/dual-purpose gun, 50-caliber machine guns, and demonstration of a man overboard recovery.
January 11 – Upon departing Singapore, CG-31 conducts a crossing the line ceremony at latitude 000°00, longitude 160°00W in the South China Sea before proceeding to Pattaya Beach, Thailand, for liberty.
March 6 – CG-31 participates in Team Spirit ’91 (3 – 17 March).
May 10 – CG-31 departs from Alava Pier, Subic Bay, after almost 10 years in the Republic of the Philippines with stops in Guam (15 May), swim call (23 May), Pearl Harbor (24 – 28 May) and finally embarks ten Midshipmen and 42 “Tigers.”
June 4 – After almost 10 years overseas and trailing a four-hundred-foot homecoming pennant, CG-31 arrives in her new and final home port of San Diego, California.
June 15 – Mt. Pinatubo explodes in the Philippines leaving over 24,000 active duty, civilians and CG-31 family members stranded in Subic Bay and densely populated areas.
August 12 – CG-31 conducts a dead-stick transit to Southwest Marine Shipyard to begin a thirteen month new threat upgrade overhaul.
September 14 – The Chief of Naval Operations authorizes CG-31 to wear the Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation (PPUC) for her work in the Republic of the Philippines during the period of May 89 to June 1991. The citation recognized STERETT’s participation in typhoon and earthquake disaster aid, construction work at Subic Bay area schools, and tuition assistance to numerous Filipinos while STERETT was homeported at Subic Bay.
October 13 – After 14 months in overhaul at Southwest Marine Shipyard and over seventy-five million dollars in repairs and upgrades, CG-31 once again returned to sea.
October 19 – CG-31 conducts a Combat Systems Ships Qualification Trial (CSSQT) (19 October – 05 December) testing and certifying all areas of its combat systems suite.
October 23 – The formal departure conference from overhaul at Southwest Marine Shipyard is completed for CG-31 (12 August 1991 – 23 October 1992).
November 24 – The U.S. Navy pulls out of Subic Bay, CG-31’s homeport from 19 August 1981 to 10 May 1991 – almost 10 years!
December 5 – After four successful missile exercises at the Barking Sands Missile Range, CG-31 completes CSSQT.
December 16 – Pierside San Diego, USS STERETT holds the last change of command. CAPT Thomas E. Blount, Jr., is relieved by CDR Gordon O. Dorsey becoming CG-31’s 12th and final Commanding Officer.
December 17 – After what turned out to be CG-31 last change of command ceremony, STERETT is assigned to COMDESRON THIRTEEN under former CG-31 Commanding Officer, Commodore Richard P. Genet, USN.
July 9 – CG-31 departs on a four-and-a-half month deployment to conduct Central America/Caribbean Counternarcotics Operations that included port visits to Rodman, Panama twice (25 – 30 July and 24 – 29 October); Manta, Ecuador 19 – 22 August); Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (4 – 14 October); Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica (1 – 3 November); and Mazatlán, Mexico (18 – 20 November).
August 19 – Before liberty in Manta, Ecuator, CG-31 conducts a Crossing the Line ceremony cleansing the ship of over 200 polliwogs.
September 28 – For the first time ever, CG-31 transits the Panama Canal during CENTAM ’93!
October 24 – For the second and the last time, CG-31 transits the Panama Canal during CENTAM ’93!
November 21 – CG-31 conducts its last Tiger Cruise with 58 dependents and friends from Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico, to San Diego, California (21 – 24 November).
November 24 – CG-31 arrives back at its homeport of San Diego for the last time after travelling 22,581 miles and underway for 100 out of the 138 days of the CENTAM deployment. STERETT was instrumental in the disruption of the delivery of over 28,000 Kilograms of cocaine valued at $38 Million dollars.
January 8 – CG-31 conducts its last Dependent’s Day cruise off the Southern California Operating Areas.
January 10 – CG-31 begins the decommissioning restricted availability (RAV) stretching for 74 days during which the combat system suite was completely removed and the ship was stripped of all usable equipment and parts. In total, 40 pallets worth 10 million dollars of equipment was redistributed to other U.S. Naval units.
March 24 – CG-31 is decommissioned at Naval Station San Diego after almost 27 years of service.
May 12 – CG-31 is transferred to the Maritime Administration being laid up at Suisun Bay, California.
October 12 – Former CG-31 Shipmate GMM2 Mark A. Hawkins is injured during the terrorist attack on the USS COLE (DDG 67), Adan, Yemen, and is awarded the Purple Heart. Less than a year later, Chief Gunner’s Mate Hawkins is gravely injured while stationed at the Pentagon on the September 11, 2001, succumbing to his injuries on September 16, 2001.
September 11 – Former CG-31 Shipmate GMM2 Mark A. Hawkins is gravely injured while stationed at the Pentagon on the September 11, 2001, succumbing to his injuries on September 16, 2001.
July 22 – Admiral Mike Mullen, CG-31’s former Executive Officer, becomes the 28th Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) and remains in office until 27 September 2007 when he is selected as the 17th Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff.
July 31 – CG-31 is sold to International Shipbreaking of Brownsville, Texas, for dismantling and recycling.
October 1 – Admiral Mike Mullen, CG-31’s former Executive Officer, becomes the 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He remained in office until September 30, 2011.
Maintaining the objective of the Association by educating the public on the maritime heritage of all ships named STERETT as to the roles these ships played in the United States history, and the importance of preserving the ship’s historic data for future generations (2013 Bylaws, Article II).
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