Grumman-Built DDG Mustin Commissioned in U.S. Pacific Fleet
By RICHARD R. BURGESS
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Vern Clark delivered the keynote address
at the commissioning ceremonies of the Navy's newest destroyer as the
USS Mustin (DDG 89)--the Navy's 39th Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile
destroyer and the 18th built by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems--joined
the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
The 9,300-ton Mustin--homeported in San Diego, Calif., under the command
of Cdr. Ann Phillips--was ordered to life by the ship's sponsors: Lucy
Holcomb Mustin, wife of retired Vice Adm. Henry C. Mustin II; Jean Phillips
Mustin, wife of retired Lt. Cdr. Thomas M. Mustin; and Mrs. Douglas Mustin
St. Denis, sister of Henry C. Mustin II and Thomas M. Mustin. Anne Howard
Thomas, matron of honor for DD 413, the first ship named Mustin in 1938,
served as matron of honor for DDG 89 as well.
The Mustin honors a family of U.S. Navy officers whose service spanned
more than a century. Capt. Henry C. Mustin (18741923) participated
in the capture of Vigan in the Philippines in 1899; flew the first aircraft
ever catapulted off a ship; flew the first operational missions--off Vera
Cruz, Mexico--by naval aircraft; and served as the first commander of
Aircraft Squadrons, Atlantic Fleet. His son, Vice Adm. Lloyd Mustin (19111999),
helped to develop the Navy's first lead-computing anti-aircraft gunsight;
served on board the cruiser USS Atlanta during the Battle of Guadalcanal;
and served as operations director of the Joint Staff.
Lloyd Mustin's son Henry C. Mustin served in the Vietnam War; as Navy
inspector general; as commander of the U.S. Second Fleet; and as deputy
chief of naval operations for plans and policy. His brother, Thomas M.
Mustin, served in combat in Vietnam in river patrol boats.
Also speaking at the 26 July commissioning ceremonies were Rep. Susan
Davis (D-Calif.); Vice Adm. Timothy W. LaFleur, commander, Naval Surface
Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet; Rear Adm. Charles S. Hamilton II, program executive
officer for ships; and Philip A. Dur, president of Northrop Grumman Ship
Systems and corporate vice president of Northrop Grumman.
Retired Rear Adm. Hugh Webster led the Navy League's San Diego Council's
support of the commissioning activities.
Guided Missiles Removed From Perry-class Frigates
The Navy's Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigates (FFGs) are
being stripped of their guided missiles, but the frigate will remain in
service as a valuable "utility infielder," a Navy surface-warfare
Rear Adm. Mark J. Edwards, deputy director of the Surface Warfare Division
of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, confirmed to Sea Power
on 6 August in a briefing sponsored by the Potomac Institute of Policy
Studies that the Standard SM-1 surface-to-air missiles and AGM-84 Harpoon
antiship cruise missiles are being removed from all Perry-class FFGs.
The old SM-1 missile is no longer sustainable and is being retired from
the Navy, and its Mk13 launcher also is being removed from the FFGs. Because
the Harpoon missile is fired from the same launcher, it also will no longer
be deployed on the FFGs.
Armament remaining on the FFGs includes a Mk75 76mm gun, antisubmarine
torpedoes, the Mk15 Close-in Weapon System (CIWS), and the SH-60 helicopter
armed with torpedoes and with Hellfire and Penguin antiship missiles.
Edwards said that the Navy is considering installing the SeaRAM--a RIM-116
Rolling Airframe Missile launcher connected with the radar of the CIWS--on
Edwards stressed that the missile-less Perry-class ships retain "tremendous
warfighting capability," have access to areas where other ships cannot
go, and work well with the navies and coast guards of other nations. The
ship's remaining combat systems--especially the SH-60 helicopter and the
MH-60 that will replace it--will give the ships a high level of combat
Admiral Says Navy Needs 45 to 50 Littoral Ships
Speaking at the Potomac Institute of Policy Studies on 6 August, Rear
Adm. Mark J. Edwards, deputy director of the Surface Warfare Division
in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, said that 45 to 50 Littoral
Combat Ships (LCSs) are needed by the Navy. He stressed that he does not
regard the LCS as a "spinoff of DD(X)," the Navy's next-generation
destroyer, but as a ship that will "fill a capability gap" in
the fleet and free up more capable multimission ships for strike and other
The Littoral Combat Ship will be a high-speed vessel designed for operations
in coastal or littoral areas. Accordingly, it will feature an advanced,
shallow-draft hull form capable of moving at speeds of up to 40 or 50
knots. The ship will feature modular mission systems that will tailor
it to meet threats likely to be encountered in littoral areas, such as
fast attack craft, diesel-electric submarines, and mines.
At the team selection announcement on 17 July, Chief of Naval Operations
Adm. Vern Clark spoke of the need to dominate the near-land battlespace.
"Our enemies will continue to develop asymmetric means to stop us.
LCS will be the asymmetric advantage that will allow us to dominate in
this critical area. We need this capability as quickly as we can get it
to the fleet."
Edwards noted that the introduction of LCS to the fleet might require
a "culture change" for crews. One notion being considered is
assigning mission crews with interchangeable mission modules, a practice
that may result in the ship's commanding officer becoming the "driver"
with the mission specialist as the mission commander, similar to the concept
used in some multicrew Navy aircraft.
Three industry teams--led by General Dynamics' Bath Iron Works, Lockheed
Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems, and Raytheon's Integrated
Defense Systems--were selected on 17 July from a field of six competitors.
One or two designs from the three lead teams will be selected by May 2004
to be built as Flight 0 LCSs.
Edwards said the construction will begin in January 2005 for the first
hull and in early 2006 for the second. Current Navy planning envisions
building three more in 2008 and four in 2009.
Sea Service Notes
The Kitty Hawk-class aircraft carrier USS Constellation--which returned
from combat operations off Iraq in June--has been decommissioned after
21 deployments--including seven off Vietnam--in 41 years of active service.
The Constellation--which was commissioned in 1961--was retired on 7 August
2003 and will be stored at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. The carrier will
be replaced in the Pacific Fleet next year by the newly commissioned Nimitz-class
carrier USS Ronald Reagan.
The Maritime Administration has awarded a $14.8 million contract to Post-Service
Remediation Partners (PRP) for the disposal of 15 obsolete transport ships
from the James River Reserve Fleet in Virginia. AbleUK will dismantle
13 of the ships in Teeside, England. Two other ships will be sold to PRP.