Destroyer Squadron Twenty Two
COMDESRON TWO TWO
COMDESRON 22 is home ported in Norfolk, VA. On 01 September 1995, as part of the Chief of Naval Operations reorganization of the Atlantic Fleet's surface force, seven destroyer squadrons were established in Norfolk. When deployed, Destroyer Squadron 22 is usually assigned anti-submarine warfare and/or anti-surface warfare commander duties within the battle group or in a specific area of operation.
While conducting refresher training near Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in April 1994 Hue City was directed to serve as Destroyer Squadron 22 flagship in support of United Nations sanctions against Haiti.
Deployed as the Tactical Destroyer Squadron (TACDESRON) for the Theodore Roosevelt Battle Group from March 1995 through September 1995, COMDESRON 22 was a participant in a wide spectrum of operations and multi-national exercises in support of U.S. national security objectives and the Sixth Fleet peacetime engagement strategy. While deployed, COMDESRON 22 operated extensively throughout the Mediterranean Sea, from the western Mediterranean to the Adriatic. Additionally COMDESRON 22 conducted a one month deployment to the Black Sea embarked on USS Hawes (FFG-53). Destroyer Squadron Twenty-two, embarked in USS Ticonderoga, departed Norfolk, VA, March 22 with the USS Theodore Roosevelt Battle Group as part of a scheduled deployment to the Mediterranean Sea. While crossing the Atlantic Ocean, Destroyer Squadron 22 conducted various training exercises with ships of the battle group to maintain tactical proficiency, including advanced anti-submarine warfare exercises with the USS Key West (SSN-722) playing the role of an opposition patrolling submarine.
During its Mediterranean deployment, COMDESRON 22 was assigned a wide variety of warfare commander responsibilities and participated in ongoing operations as well as numerous U.S., NATO, and multinational exercises. Throughout the deployment, COMDESRON 22 served as the Theodore Roosevelt Battle Group anti-submarine warfare commander, helicopter element coordinator, screen coordinator, and coordinator for passing exercises between U.S. Navy ships and foreign naval units.
Additionally, COMDESRON 22 was assigned to assume duties as Commander, Battle Force U.S. Sixth Fleet and Commander, Task Force Sixty during the absence from the Mediterranean of Commander, Carrier Group Eight (COMCARGRU 8), when the COMCARGRU 8 flagship, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), deployed to the central command during April and May. As Commander, Task Force Sixty, COMDESRON 22 coordinated the daily operations, tasking, and exercise participation of each U.S. surface combatant in the Mediterranean, which included up to nine ships at any one time. On April 13, COMDESRON 22 assumed duties as Commander, Task Force Sixty from Commander, Carrier Group Eight, when the COMCARGRU Eight Flagship, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), departed the Mediterranean for scheduled operations in the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf. Task Force Sixty maintains a forward presence role in the Mediterranean, conducts battle group operations, and participates in bilateral, multilateral, and allied operations and exercises in the Mediterranean theater of operations.
During this period, Commander, Task Force Sixty operations and exercises included exercises "Eligible Receiver" and "Destined Glory," while the ships assigned to Task Force Sixty provided direct support in the Adriatic to on-going NATO Operations Sharp Guard and deny flight. Such exercises and operations sharpen seamanship and warfighting skills and enhance the ability of forces from several nations to operate together for common objectives. In addition to participating in more than six U.S. and multinational Naval exercises and ongoing operations, and arranging more than twenty-two passing exercises, COMDESRON 22 visited fifteen ports while embarked in both USS Ticonderoga and USS Hawes. Such visits allowed COMDESRON 22 staff personnel unique opportunities to experience interesting historical and picturesque sites, and the chance to interact with the citizens of each country they visited.
Destroyer Squadron Twenty Two was relieved as the deployed Sixth Fleet Tactical Destroyer Squadron Commander at sea in the Mediterranean by Commander, Destroyer Squadron Fourteen, deployed with the USS America Battle Group.
In April 1998 Norfolk-based Destroyer Squadron Twenty-Two, (Commander, Task Force Six Zero in the Mediterranean Sea) participated in Exercise Shark Hunt 98 off the coast of Spain. Exercise Shark Hunt is an undersea warfare (USW) training evolution designed to teach participating units to the latest USW threat, diesel submarines in a shallow water environment. Shark Hunt 98 was conducted in two distinct phases. Phase 1, open ocean search, tracking, and localization utilizing maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) and submarine assets, and Phase 2, choke-point/constrained geography operations involving high value and screening units. CDS 22 participants included: USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (SSN 708); USS Caron (DD 970); Major Stephen W. Pless (T-AK 3007); Maritime Patrol Squadron Twenty-Six (VP 26); and the Netherlands maritime patrol units. The exercise took place in waters off the coast of Malaga, Spain, and the Balearic Islands.
The COMDESRON TWO TWO Group Sail from 14 October - 16 November 1999 included six Squadron ships and the USS Normandy. Group Sail was conducted in the Puerto Rican Operation Area and provided the ships the opportunity to complete basic phase training and practice integrated operations, including towing/mooring evolutions, live fire exercises, anchoring and general quarters drills, flight operations, combat systems scenarios, ship tactical maneuvering, and three underway replenishments. The USS Eisenhower's Battle Group was required to sortie due to the threat of Hurricane Jose during one of the port visits. The completion of Final Evaluation Period on 07 November by COMDESRON TWO TWO certified the ships as completely proficient in Basic Phase Training. After intense operations and training, all DESRON TWO TWO ships conducted a port visit in Miami, FL from 08-12 November 1999.
DONALD COOK departed her homeport of Norfolk, VA on 21 June 2000, with the George Washington Battle Group. After participating in the first live fire exercises in over a year on Vieques Island, Puerto Rico she sailed across the Atlantic Ocean and passed through the Straits of Gibraltar. Following participation in multi-national exercises in the Adriatic Sea and port visits in Spain, France, Italy, and Israel, DONALD COOK passed through the Suez Canal in August enroute to the Persian Gulf. In the Persian Gulf, DONALD COOK visited Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. She also participated in Maritime Interception Operations in support of UN Security Council resolutions concerning Iraq.
USS Cole (DDG 67) was the target of a terrorist attack in Aden, Yemen, on 12 October 2000, during a scheduled refueling. The attack killed 17 crew members and injured 39 others. Cole was transported from Aden to Pascagoula by the Norwegian heavy transport ship M/V Blue Marlin. A 60 foot by 60 foot patch was welded to the hull of the destroyer before it was off-loaded from Blue Marlin. Cole is being repaired at Litton Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss. The Navy estimates that the repairs will take approximately one year and cost an estimated $240 million.
DONALD COOK was on her way to the Mediterranean Sea on 12 October 2000, when she received word of an explosion onboard fellow DESRON 22 ship USS COLE in Aden, Yemen. Along with USS HAWES, DONALD COOK was the first American ship to arrive on the scene. Immediately, crew members sent needed equipment and food to the COLE as well as Damage Control Teams and Security Personnel. Over the next few weeks, DONALD COOK provided engineering and damage control equipment, hot meals, laundry services, and a place for COLE Sailors to relax overnight. DONALD COOK Sailors returned to COLE for 24-hour shifts to do engineering and damage control work and to provide security. DONALD COOK Sailors played a major role in restoring systems onboard COLE and in preparing her to go back to sea.
The Flight IIA Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer OSCAR AUSTIN (DDG 79) was added to the squadron upon its commissioning 19 August 2000. FFG-56 USS Simpson was directed to shift homeports from Norfolks VA to Mayport FL as of July 2001. This change in homeports involved an administrative transfer from COMDESRON TWO TWO to COMDESRON SIX as of March 2001.
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