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Destroyer Squadron Nine

Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE directs, oversees and assists its Squadron Ships in achieving and maintaining the highest levels of material, operational and personnel readiness for the conduct of sustained naval operations; develops and formalizes doctrine, operational procedures, tactics and associated training requirements; and serves as the Sea Combat Commander and Maritime Interdiction Operations Commander within the assigned Carrier Task Group within THIRD, FIFTH and SEVENTH Fleets. The Squadron also performs the duties of Submarine Operating Coordination Authority and Helicopter Element Coordinator within a Carrier Task Group.

Destroyer Squadron NINE was first formed in 1920. Homeported in Charleston, South Carolina, the Squadron consisted of 18 World War I "Four Pipers". In July 1921 the Squadron moved to Newport, Rhode Island where it operated until it was disestablished in May 1930.

Destroyer Squadron NINE was reestablished in 1937 in the Pacific Fleet. In November 1942 the Squadron was homeported in Recife, Brazil where the Commodore was also assigned Station Commander. Destroyer Squadron NINE's mission was submarine hunting and patrol and escort duty, occasionally interspersed with brief flurries of action against German U-Boats. The squadron continued operations out of Recife until August 1944, at which time the Squadron was dissolved for a second time and its ships reassigned.

Shortly after the close of World War II, a major Navy reorganization resulted in Destroyer Squadron NINE being reestablished. The Squadron was made up of battle veterans of the Pacific Campaign and was homeported in San Diego, California, in 1946. Deployments to the Western Pacific, alternating with First Fleet training and overhaul, became the routine for Destroyer Squadron NINE ships.

With the outbreak of hostilities in Korea, the squadron found itself actively involved in operations in the seas off Korea. The years following Korea were years of uneasy peace. Requirements for destroyer in the Western Pacific led to yet another change in hopmeport for Destroyer Squadron NINE. In 1961 the Squadron was forward deployed to Yokuska, Japan for eight years and subsequently alternated between Long Beach, California and Yokuska at two year intervals. With the involvement of U.S. Forces in Southeast Asia, Destroyer Squadron NINE once again became involved in wartime operations. During that period Destroyer Squadron NINE became the first squadron to be awarded the Navy Unit Commendation for service in the Vietnam Conflict.

From 1975 through 1983 Destroyer Squadron NINE was tasked with Pacific Fleet Introduction of SPRUANCE Class (DD-963) Destroyers, OLIVER HAZARD PERRY Class (FFG-7) Guided Missile Frigates, PEGASUS Class (PHM-1) Missile Hydrofoil Combatants and various CNO projects. The Secretary of the Navy awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation to Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE for the period 1 July 1976 to 31 May 1978 for these accomplishments.

From 1983 to 1986 Destroyer Squadron NINE evolved to an operational, deploying squadron. Squadron composition consisted of various Destroyers, Guided Missile Destroyers, Frigates and Guided Missile Frigates. In 1986 Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE deployed to the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean and the Northern Pacific with the USS CARL VINSON (CVN-70)/Battle Group CHARLIE as the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Commander, and was again awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation.

In January 1988 Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE deployed to the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean embarked on the USS ENTERPRISE (CVN-65) with Battle Group FOXTROT as the ASW Commander and was awarded her third Meritorious Unit Commendation. During this deployment Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE was a key participant in Operation Praying Mantis--combat operations conducted on 18 April 1988 in retaliation for mine damage sustained by the USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS (FFG-12). Destroyer Squadron NINE was awarded the Joint Meritorious Unit Award for her actions in that operation. Following the deployment, the Squadron shifted homeport to Long Beach, California.

In 1989 Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE participated in the Portland Rose Festival and the Third Fleet Battle Force Pacific Exercise '89 as the ASW Commander onboard the USS CARL VINSON (CVN-70). In February 1990 Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE embarked on USS CARL VINSON (CVN-70) and deployed to the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean with Battle Group CHARLIE as the ASW Commander and was awarded the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and a Letter of Commendation from the Secretary of the Navy.

Upon return from deployment, Destroyer Squadron NINE was reassigned as one of the three Pacific Fleet Readiness Destroyer Squadrons. Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE's mission was changed to provide oversight for the ships of the Squadron in achieving and maintaining the highest levels of material, operational and personnel readiness for the conduct of sustained Naval Operations.

In June 1991 Commander Destroyer Squadron NINE deployed to the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean with USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN-72)/Battle Group FOXTROT supporting Operation "Earnest Will" and Operation "Desert Storm" as the ASW Commander and Space and Electronic Warfare Commander. Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE was awarded the Southwest Asia Service Medal for her participation in Operation "Desert Storm". During this deployment Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE participated in Joint Task Force FIERY VIGIL, the largest peacetime evacuation of civilians in recent history. From 10 June to 28 June 1991 Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE joined with the U.S. Air Force to evacuate over 20,000 military dependants from Subic Bay Naval Base and Clark Air Force Base in the Republic of the Philippines after the disastrous eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE embarked on USS Bristol County (LST-1198) as the on-scene coordinator for the debarkation of evacuees at Cebu City. For this action Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE was awarded her second Joint Meritorious Unit Award.

In January 1992 Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE assumed Operational Commander control of six ships while their Immediate Superior in Command, Commander Surface Squadron ONE was deployed. In August 1992 Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE assumed responsibility for Ex-USS BREWTON and Ex-USS ROBERT E. PEARY during their transfer to Taiwan under the Foreign Military Lease program. The Fleet Introduction Team, assigned to Destroyer Squadron NINE, assisted and trained the Taiwan Navy to operate these former KNOX-class Frigates. In August 1993 Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE assumed responsibility for the Ex-USS KNOX during her transfer to Taiwan under the Foreign Military Lease program.

On 01 September 1994 Destroyer Squadron NINE shifted homeport from Long Beach, California to Everett, Washington.

On 01 September 1997 Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE embarked USS NIMITZ (CVN-68) and deployed to the Arabian Gulf. Upon arrival in the Gulf Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE assumed the duties as the Maritime Interception Commander, Surface/Undersea Warfare Commander, Screen Commander, Helicopter Element Coordinator and the Submarine Operations Coordinating Authority. In November, a portion of the staff embarked in USS George Washington (CVN-73) while maintaining the command of all warfare areas for which they were responsible. Upon Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE's return, in January 1998, the staff was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation for its performance in support of Operation Southern Watch.

Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE deployed June 2000 to conduct the bilateral series of exercises called Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT). Embarked in USS GERMANTOWN (LSD-42), the Staff served as Officer in Tactical Command of a five-ship Task Group conducting exercises with the armed forces of the Republic of the Philippines, Thailand, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Involving more than 1,800 U.S. military forces, the CARAT Task Group was headed by Commodore Joseph J. Natale, Commander, Destroyer Squadron Nine, homeported at Naval Station Everett, Wash. The Desron Nine staff embarked USS Germantown (LSD-42), forward-deployed to Sasebo, Japan, for the duration of the exercise. Other ships in the task group include USS Mount Vernon (LSD-39) and USS Sides (FFG-14), both homeported in San Diego; USS Reuben James (FFG-57), homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; and USS Safeguard (ARS-50), forward-deployed to Sasebo, Japan. USS Columbus (SSN-762), homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and USS Helena (SSN-725), homeported in San Diego, also joined the task group in individual phases.




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