Tag Archives: USS Curts (FFG-38)

38 Special Standing By: Mine No More

Below we see the watercolor entitled “Mine No More” by Chip Beck, showing, “An Iraqi mine is blown in place by U.S. Navy EOD divers from USS Missouri as USS Curtis [sic] hovers in the background in the northern Arabian Gulf.”

NHHC Accession #: 91-159-D

The painting is based on a real photograph and depicts the long-hull Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Curts (FFG-38) hard at work in the Persian Gulf some 30 years ago today.

14 January 1991: The Persian Gulf – An Iraqi mine is detonated by an explosives ordnance disposal team near Curts during Operation Desert Storm. (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-SN-91-09317 by PH3 Brad Dillon)

During Desert Storm, Curts was very busy, supporting a mix of Navy and Army helicopters to capture the 51-man Iraqi garrison on occupied Qaruh Island, Kuwait. While the speck of land, just 275 meters long by 175 meters wide, is tiny, Qaruh was symbolically important as it was the first section of Kuwaiti liberated in Desert Storm on 21 January.

Curts also reportedly destroyed two mines, sank an Iraqi minelayer, and provided further support to combat helicopter operations during the Battle of Bubiyan Island.

Part of the Missouri Battleship Group, Curts, used her sonar to gingerly lead USS Missouri (BB-63) northward to get within striking range of Iraqi strongpoints ashore. Missouri gun crews then sent 2,700-pound shells crashing into an Iraqi command and control bunker near the Saudi border. It marked the first time the battlewagon’s 16-inch guns had been fired in combat since March 1953 off Korea. Missouri‘s gun crews returned to action 5 February, silencing an Iraqi artillery battery with another 10 rounds. Over a three-day period, Missouri bombarded Iraqi strongholds with 112 16-inch shells.

For her part, Curts received the Navy Unit Commendation for her exceptional operational performance, as well as the Admiral Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy.

Decommissioned in 2013 after three decades of hard service, “38 Special” was slated for possible transfer to Mexico but has since been placed on the list of target ships. Laid up at Pearl Harbor, she will likely be expended in an upcoming RIMPAC Sinkex.

Congress approves 8 frigates for Mexico, Taiwan, and Thailand

140108-N-MJ645-059 MAYPORT, Fla. (Jan. 8, 2014) The guided-missile frigate USS Taylor (FFG 50) departs Naval Station Mayport for a seven-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility. This is Taylor's final deployment as the ship is scheduled to be decommissioned in 2015. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Marcus L. Stanley/Released) CLICK TO BIG UP

140108-N-MJ645-059
MAYPORT, Fla. (Jan. 8, 2014) The guided-missile frigate USS Taylor (FFG 50) departs Naval Station Mayport for a seven-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility. This is Taylor’s final deployment as the ship is scheduled to be decommissioned in 2015. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Marcus L. Stanley/Released) CLICK TO BIG UP

According to the local media in the Republic if China (Taiwan), the U.S. Senate has finally approved H.R. 3470 which sets up a transfer of up to 8 high-mileage Oliver Hazard Perry-class (FFG-7) guided missile frigates to three U.S. allies. The bill has been held up by a variety of budget issues. It had already passed the House on a voice vote where it was introduced more than a year ago.

It will save an estimated $40 million in costs to the U.S. Navy (about $5 million per ship) which would be the estimated cost to store the ships per year as a mobilization asset.

Going to Taiwan (who already operate eight modified Perrys as the Cheng Kung class) would be USS Taylor (FFG-50), Gary, USS Carr (FFG-52) and USS Eldrod (FFG-55)

Mexico would pick up the slightly older USS Curts (FFG-38) and USS Mcclusky (FFG-41) while Thailand would get USS Rentz (FFG-46) and USS Vandegrift (FFG-48).

The newest of these ships is the 29-year old Elrod, currently set to decommission in January 2015 while the oldest, 31-year old Curts has been laid up since January 2013.

The bill has strings attached however and requires that (1) transfer costs shall be charged to the recipient, and (2) the country to which a vessel is transferred shall have necessary vessel repair and refurbishment carried out at U.S. shipyards (including U.S. Navy shipyards) to the maximum extent practicable.

These ships are supposedly replaced in U.S. service by the new littoral combat ship.