1986 Command Narrative

03 December 1987
Commanding Officer, USS WADDELL (DDG 24)


a.  The New Year commenced with Warship WADDELL inport San Diego for upkeep and holiday leave.  Having just returned from overhaul in Long Beach Naval Ship Yard, the crew started preparation for the many upcoming inspections and work up for deployment scheduled early 1987.

b.  The Warship spent the majority of the first quarter of calendar year 1986 inport.  January and February provided several short underway training periods in SOCAL with the remainder of the time spent inport for upkeep and final preparations for the first major hurdles:  Combat systems ship qualifications trials (CSSQT)/Weapons Systems Accuracy Tests (WSAT), to commence in January; and a command inspection scheduled in early March.  CSQQT/WSAT completion marked the successful demonstrations of all weapons systems and a successful command inspection.  With a few short underway training periods in mid March, the Warship played host to thousands of visitors as she tied up at San Diego's Broadway Pier for a weekend of visit ship.  The ship and crew finished off the quarter returning to Naval Station San Diego for upkeep.

c.  The second quarter would prove to be a very busy one, with many important inspections and evolution taking place.  A 3M Assist Visit was conducted the second week of April, although some minor deficiencies were identified, the Warship was well on its way in preparation for the upcoming 3M inspection.  May started with a Training Readiness Evaluation (TRE) conducted by Fleet Training Group, San Diego.  On 05 May, WADDELL got underway for a weeklong Amphibious Excercise, participating in Kernel Usher 1986.  Here the ship exercised NGFS, AAW, and ASUW capabilities and received several "Kudo's" from the Task Group Commander.  On the 19th of May, WADDELL's 3M inspection got underway to finish up a few days later with a very satisfactory grade.  On 26 May, the Warship started refresher training (REFTRA) Phase I.  The crew did so well, they were able to finish Phase I a day early.  The next major event was the Supply Management Inspection (SMI), on 16-17 June.  The Supply Department scored overall "outstanding," receiving no grades of less than "Excellent".

d.  On 19 June, the WADDELL set sail for six weeks of operations and port visits to Alaska and Canada while participating in Kernel Potlatch '86. During this time, the Warship and crew was responsible to maintain radar picket station for the Task Group while operating in and around, the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska.  WADDELL performed flawlessly in a very cold climate.  Although the season was mid-summer, the crew witnessed several snow storms while on station just south of Adak Island.

e.  On 05 July, with Kernel Potlatch completed, WADDELL started her port visit/transit while in company with USS HORNE (CG 30), USS ROARK (FF 1053), USS FLETCHER (DD 992), and USS KANSAS CITY (A OR 3).  Anchorage Alaska was the first port visit.  The city welcomed the Navy with open arms and provided a truly enjoyable and memorable port stop.  WADDELL also visited Seward and Ketchikan while in Alaska where the crew enjoyed some spectacular scenery and great weather.  Canada was next with the first stop in Esquimalt/Victoria British Columbia.  Three days later WADDELL got underway for Vancouver, British Columbia where everyone had the exciting opportunity to visit the World Expo.  The ship returned to San Diego on 01 August for an upkeep and availability period.

f.  The week of 11-15 August was Surface Warfare Training week where the Warship participated in many inport competitive exercises.  The remainder of August was spent inport for upkeep and an "R" availability with several concurrent team trainers being conducted.  Mobile Training Team (MTT) EASTPAC came aboard the first week of September to help prepare the Warship for OPPE.  After several days inport and underway, WADDELL received MTT's "blessing" and had a few weeks to fine tune the engineering team.  The remainder of the month was spent preparing for OPPE, conducting nuclear weapons handling training with the 9024 course, and various other team trainers.

g.  Warship WADDELL steamed into the last quarter of the year by successfully completing OPPE.  With DESRON TWO THREE embarked, the Engineering Department put on an impressive display of knowledge and training that drew praise from the Commodore.  Fourth quarter 1986 would prove to be another action packed quarter as was the previous one with many, many trainers and important events to follow.  The next significant event was TRE in preparation for Reftra Phase II.  With much preparation a successful TRE was conducted on 15 October.  The very next day, WADDELL was underway and performed superbly during the ships Naval Gunfire Support Quals (NGFS) on the San Clemente Island range.  WADDELL returned to port on 16 October to spend the remainder of October busy with a Nuclear Weapons Assist Team (NWAT) visit, upkeep and preparing for November's Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) visit and the resultant Underway Material Inspection (UMI).  The INSURV inspection was held 03-07 November.  Unfortunately several combat systems casualties prevented WADDELL from successfully demonstrating her capabilities and resulted in recommended technical assistance and grooming in order to prepare the Warship for REFTRA Phase II and deployment to the Middle East shortly thereafter.  The next few weeks were spent inport with upkeep, an "A" availability, and various assist teams onboard.  After Thanksgiving, WADDELL began Nuclear Weapons Acceptance Inspection (NWAI) on 24 November.  The inspection team determined that further program grooming was necessary and the ship would reschedule another inspection in January of 1987.  The next and final major event of 1986 commenced on 1 December.  The Warship got underway for three weeks of REFTRA Phase II.  The Warship did extremely well during REFTRA, the combat systems not only completed the following events, but excelled in doing so:  Simultaneous missile/gun engagement of ASCM drone, AAW gunnery, ASUW gunnery, quick-draw excercise and a torpedo and ASROC engagement that has been used as a model by the SOCAL Offshore Range personnel as an example of excellence.  The entire ship performed superbly in all phases of the training.  REFTRA completed 19 December with excellent results.  The rest of the year was spent in upkeep and Christmas leave/standown to allow the crew to spend time with their loved ones prior to deployment, less than two months away.

h.  1986 was a hectic year for the Warship.  Every division was presented with challenges.  Overall, the ship and crew distinguished itself by its commitment to excellence through preparation, hard work, and most of all, perseverance.


a.  The year started for the Weapons Department with the arrival of a new Department Head.  LCDR Miguel A. Wellington relieved LCDR Daniel N. Esposito on 5 January 1986.

b.  Combat Systems Ship Qualification Trials (CSSQT/Weapons Systems Accuracy Tests (WSAT) were the first two major events for the department.  On 21 January CSSQT began.  The trials encompassed the MK 74 TARTAR MFCS MK13, Weapons Designation System, MK13 Guided Missile Launcher System, air/surface search radars and repeaters, MK68 Gunfire Control Systems, and MK 42 5"/54 Guns.  WSAT was conducted on the ASW weapons systems 27-31 January and 10-12 February with successful firings of two RTT and one SVTT.  After several weeks of GMLS grooming, CSSQT was completed with the successful firing of two SM-1 missiles and several anti-surface gunnery exercises on 2 April.

c.  In early May the Warship's Weapons Department was called upon to perform in a supporting arms combat exercise as a part of KERNEL USHER, a major fleet Amphibious Exercise in the Southern California OP Area.  Without the benefit of having yet attained Naval Gunfire Support (NGFS) qualification, the Warship's 5-inch guns delivered effective fire in support of combat troops.

d.  The Weapons Department achieved the highest score attained in an annual 3M inspection over the past five years.  This accomplishment was obtained through the painstaking attention to detail of each division.  In particular, the small arms work center of G division attained a 100 percent confidence factor by completing ten out of ten satisfactory spot checks.

e.  Refresher Training Phase I was conducted by the Warship from 26 May-12 June.  During this three week period of intensive training and arduous work schedules, all weapons department evolutions were performed superbly.  In particular, the Deck Division attained a score of satisfactory or better on all exercises, fifty percent of which were graded outstanding.  In all aspects, the Weapons Department completed refresher training ready to perform its missions.

f.  In Mid-Summer and an very little advance notice, the Warship's Weapons Department was called upon to perform in KERNEL POTLATCH, a six-week major fleet amphibious exercise in the North Pacific.  Under extreme environmental conditions, often in poor visibility, all deck evolutions were performed safely and flawlessly.  This included both underway and vertical replenishment.  The Gunnery Division earned "Top Gun" honors in gunnery exercises held among ships of the amphibious escorts task element.

g.  On 16 October, the Gunnery Division excelled once again when the Warship embarked upon NGFS qualification at San Clemente Island.  By the days end, the ship's guns had fired over one hundred rounds without a single casualty.

h.  During the Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) visit in November, the Warship's 5-inch gun amounts and magazines were categorized as being excellently maintained.  The Deck Division had only minor deficiencies and was cited as being well prepared for the inspection.  The ASROC launcher and associated equipment was considered "the best inspected in the last two years" by the survey board.

i.  the Warship's weapons department ended the year with a string of impressive achievements in the month of December during Reftra phase II.  The guided missile division battled back from recent crippling hardware casualties.  With an enormous effort the division repaired the casualties and groomed the missile systems.

Their hardwork and devotion to duty culminated in a successful combined missile and gun exercise at a low altitude target.  Demonstrating flawless timing and execution; the Warship earned a grade of "outstanding", a grade seldom achieved due to the complexity and difficulty of the exercise requirements.  The Gunnery Division went on to further distinction by earning grades of outstanding in anti-surface gunnery, anti-air gunnery, and a quick-draw exercise.  To complete the top honors for the weapons department, the anti-submarine division earned grades of "outstanding" for flawless execution of a torpedo and ASROC engagement.  The SOCAL Offshore Range personnel evaluating the exercises described the Warship's performance as "the best seen in the last two years, regardless of class."

j.  The year 1986 was for the Weapons Department a year of trials, challenges, and successes toward achieving full combat readiness.  The department achieved distinction through high professional standards and a commitment to excellence.


a.  The Warships Supply Department enjoyed a year of successes that culminated in the department receiving the coveted "Blue E" award.  The year was one of much hard work in preparation for inspections and ultimately for deployment to the Middle East.

b.  The Supply Department was inspected by DESRON SEVENTEEN and Staff during the Command Inspection in the first week of March.  The Warship's Supply Department received a passing grade on their programs which included:  Controlled material, inventories, contracting regulations, disbursing, food services, HAZMAT disposal, and OPTAR obligation rates to name a few.

c.  During April and May, the Supply Department had a 3M assist visit and 3M inspection, respectively.  The assist visit proved to be invaluable as it enabled the Warship's Supply Department to pass the inspection, clearing the first hurdle toward the "Blue E".

d.  Supply Management Inspection (SMI), the most important event for the department was held on 16-17 June.  The Supply Department had been preparing for this inspection since their return to San Diego after overhaul.  The preparations were apparent at the inspection and the Warship's Supply Department completed the SMI with success.  The inspection team was extremely impressed and have the department an overall "outstanding" with no areas found to be less then "excellent".  This wrapped up the "Blue E" for supply which was proudly painted on the Warship's Bridgewings.

e.  The Supply Department continued its success and high professionalism for the remainder of the year.  Providing support throughout the Warship in every major event of exercise.  1986 was a year of accomplishments that the Supply Department would strive to repeat for years to come.


a.  In January, the Operations Department began the year making preparations to support Combat Systems Ships Qualification Trials (CSSQT) and Weapons Systems Accuracy Tests (WSAT).  Operations Specialist (OS) and Electronic Warfare Technician (EW) personnel were an integral part of the trials.

Chronology of Events

1-14 JAN Inport San Diego
15-17 JAN Underway SO CAL OP Area
17 JAN - 3 FEB Inport San Diego
4-12 FEB Underway SO CAL OP Area
13 FEB-18 MAR Inport San Diego
18 MAR Underway SO CAL OP Area
19 MAR Inport San Diego
20 MAR Underway SO CAL OP Area
21-24 MAR Inport San Diego
25-26 MAR Underway SO CAL OP Area
27-30 MAR Inport San Diego
31 MAR-1 APR Underway San Diego
2-28 APR Inport San Diego
29-30 APR Underway SO CAL OP Area
1-4 MAY Inport San Diego
5-11 MAY Underway SO CAL OP Area (KERNEL USHER)
12-26 MAY Inport San Diego
27-29 MAY Underway SO CAL OP Area Refresher Training
30 MAY - 1 JUN Inport San Diego
2-6 JUN Underway SO CAL OP Area Refresher Training
7-8 JUN Inport San Diego
9-12 JUN Underway SO CAL OP Area Refresher Training
13-18 JUN Inport San Diego
10-11 JUL Inport Anchorage Alaska
12 JUL Enroute Seward Alaska
13-14 JUL Inport Seward Alaska
15-17 JUL Enroute Ketchikan Alaska
18-19 JUL Inport Ketchikan Alaska
20-21 JUL Enroute Esquimalt Canada
22-24 JUL Inport Esquimalt Canada
25-27 JUL Enroute/Inport Vancouver Canada
28-31 JUL Enroute San Diego
1 AUG - 2 SEP Inport San Diego
3-4 SEP Underway SO CAL OP Area
5-14 SEP Inport San Diego
15-18 SEP Underway SO CAL OP Area
19-29 SEP Inport San Diego
30 SEP Underway SO CAL OP Area
1-14 OCT Inport San Diego
15-16 OCT Underway SO CAL OP Area
17 OCT - 3 NOV Inport San Diego
05-30 NOV Inport San Diego
1-5 DEC Underway SO CAL OP Area Refresher Training
6-7 DEC Inport San Diego
8-12 DEC Underway SO CAL OP Area Refresher Training
13-14 DEC Inport San Diego
15-19 DEC Underway SO CAL OP Area Refresher Training
20-31 DEC Inport San Diego