Tag Archives: USCGC Shamal (WPC-13)

Navy Drops the Ax on Bonnie Dick, 2 LCS, and 3 PCs

As the fiscal year plays out the Navy has released tentative inactivation dates for eight vessels. One is the battered and economically unsavable USS Bon Homme Richard (LHD-6), which blazed away last year to the point of no return. Perhaps a mothballed LHA can be retrieved from Pearl Harbor’s loch and returned to service for a few years to make up for the shortcoming.

Another hit, laying up the old MSC-controlled fleet tug USNS Sioux (T-ATF 171) is a natural course of action as the Navy is building a new and more capable class of tugs to replace the older vessels.

In a gut punch, the two initial class leaders for the Little Crappy Ships, USS Freedom (LCS-1) and USS Independence (LCS-2), will be taken out of commission this summer, their apparent beta tests concluded after just 12 years. USS Fort Worth and USS Coronado, ships with even fewer miles, are certain to follow.

USS Fort McHenry (LSD-43) will be laid up in April. The 33-year-old Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship will not be needed anymore in a gator fleet that is gaining big hulled 25,000-ton LPDs at the same time that the Marines are shedding all of their tanks and most of their artillery. Notably, she is the first of her class on the block.

Finally, three of the much-maligned 170-foot Cyclone-class patrol craft, USS Zephry (PC-8), USS Shamal (PC-13), and USS Tornado (PC-14) will be deactivated by 2 March 2021, with the first two set to be scrapped and the Tornado placed up for Foreign Military Sales. As class leader Cyclone was given to the Philippines in 2004, you can guess where Tornado will likely wind up.

NAVAL STATION MAYPORT, Fla. (Feb. 16, 2021) Sailors conduct a decommissioning ceremony aboard the Cyclone-class patrol ship USS Shamal (PC 13) at Naval Station Mayport, Fla. Shamal is one of three Cyclone-class patrol ships being decommissioned at Naval Station Mayport. (US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Austin G. Collins)

In short, Big Navy never liked the PCs and have repeatedly tried to kill them off over the years, shopping them overseas and to the Coast Guard. However, they have proved very useful in the Persian Gulf– where most are forward deployed– and as the sole assets for the 4th Fleet in the Gulf of Mexico/Caribbean. With the Coast Guard’s new and more effective 158-foot Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutters reaching 50~ hulls, six of which are set to be deployed to Bahrain, it seems like the Navy is electing to go more Coasty in the Iranian small-boat Cold War.

I happen to know the resting place of Tornado’s sideboard from ger USCG days based at NAVSTA Pascagoula!

As well as Shamals

In related news, it looks like the Navy is also set to scrap their dozen 82-foot Mark IV patrol boats. An ambitious program originally intended to field 48 units in 2012, the wargamers say they will be live bait in a conflict with China. Duh.

And so closes another chapter in the book of how the Navy hates brown water and wants you to hate it to.

Navy’s 4th Fleet Cyclones keep clocking in on Martillo

MAYPORT, Fla. (Aug. 02, 2016) – The Cyclone-class Patrol Coastal USS Shamal (PC 13) returns to homeport U.S. Naval Station Mayport after a 62 day deployment to the 4th Fleet area of responsibility where they conducted counter illicit trafficking operations in support of Operation Martillo. Operation Martillo is a joint international low enforcement and military operation involving U.S., European and Western Hemisphere partner nations, targeting illicit trafficking routes in the waters off Central America. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Hendricks/Released)

MAYPORT, Fla. (Aug. 02, 2016) – The Cyclone-class Patrol Coastal USS Shamal (PC 13) returns to homeport U.S. Naval Station Mayport after a 62 day deployment to the 4th Fleet area of responsibility where they conducted counter illicit trafficking operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Hendricks/Released)

This month USS Shamal (PC 13) returned to her Florida base after a 62-day deployment in the waters off Central America and the Caribbean. As such, it is her third patrol in the U.S 4th Fleet’s AOR. This came as part of the ongoing Operation Martillo. Operation Martillo is a joint international low enforcement and military operation involving U.S., European and Western Hemisphere partner nations, targeting illicit trafficking routes in the waters off Central America.

Two other of the Cyclone-class PCs, USS Zephyr (PC 8) and USS Tornado (PC 14) are home-ported in Mayport and deploy regularly to all points south and they likewise have been very busy, with Zephyr for instance just completing her first 4th Fleet deployment, of some 45 days, in June.

They are carrying Coast Guard Law Enforcement detachments and, rather than their Navy RIBs, are using the USCG’s Cutterboat–Over the Horizon (CB-OTH) MK III, a 24-foot RIB based on the Zodiac 733 I/O Interceptor with a 315 HP diesel engine.

However this isn’t really new to these three. These three vessels were loaned to the Coast Guard for a few years, operating from Pascagoula with USCG pennant numbers (WPC 8, 13, 14) and crews.

USCGC Shamal (WPC-13) as she appeared in 2006 when operating from NAVSTA Pascagoula. Dat racing stripe, doe

USCGC Shamal (WPC-13) as she appeared in 2006 when operating from NAVSTA Pascagoula. Dat racing stripe, doe

In fact, at one of the more sucking on a switchblade greasy spoon/ waterfront bars in Gautier, a number of relics left behind when the ships chopped back to the Navy are still kept.

uscgc tornado 170 pc cyclone

This place serves a mean burger, and you can feed gators off the dock, though MDFWP frowns on such

This place serves a mean burger, and you can feed gators off the dock, though MDFWP frowns on such

The rest of the class still in U.S. service are spending a very active career in the Persian Gulf, with some days being more active than others.