Military


FFG 14 Sides

USS Sides' mission is to escort and protect convoys, underway replenishment groups, amphibious landing groups, and carrier battle groups. Sides' missile, gun, and anti-submarine warfare systems, combined with its quick reaction and high speed capability, make the warship a valuable asset in today's multi-threat environment.

The Sides was commissioned in May 1981.

In 1988, while deployed to the Arabian Gulf, Sides completed a record 32 safe transits of the Strait of Hormuz while escorting oil tankers in and out of the volatile Gulf region. The ship also participated in combat operations as part of Operation Praying Mantis, the U.S. retaliation in response to the Iranian mining of USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58).

USS Sides (FFG-14) returned to San Diego on October 23, 2000 after a five and a half month deployment. Sides, along with USS Mount Vernon (LPD-39), left on May 15 bound for Southeast Asia to participate in the annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training 2000 exercise series. CARAT 2000 is a series of bilateral exercises between U.S. forces and the military forces of Brunei, Malaysia, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

In 2002, Sides participated in the war on terrorism, conducting maritime operations in support of Operations Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom during her last deployment. Also in 2002, she led a combined U.S.-Australian task group in defense of strategic interests in the Indian Ocean.

Guided-missile frigate USS Sides marked the end of a distinguished 21-year naval career Feb. 15, 2003. In a decommissioning ceremony at Naval Station San Diego, dignitaries, shipmates and friends looked on as the last watch was relieved and the ship was ceremonially decommissioned.

The light blue on the shield of the coat of arms is symbolic of the hours of daylight and dark blue of the night. Together they connote the 24 hour watch and the vigilance required of warships at sea. The three arcs on the light blue suggest the very high frequency radio waves of radar, those on the dark blue symbolize the acoustic waves used in sonar to detect submerged objects. The broad arrow represents a missile on course to its target.

Blue and gold on the crest, are the colors associated with the Navy. The scaled horse's head, alluding to the heraldic sea horse, represents a knight, one of the pieces in the game of chess, suggesting at once the personal reputation of Admiral Sides as a man of knightly character and integrity and as a naval officer experienced in the strategies of sea warfare. The mullets, heraldic symbols related to the spurs of a knight, symbolize the four star rank attained by the Admiral.

Guided-missile frigate USS Sides (FFG 14) marked the end of a distinguished 21-year naval career Feb. 15. In a decommissioning ceremony at Naval Station San Diego, dignitaries, shipmates and friends looked on as the last watch was relieved and the ship was ceremonially decommissioned. Sides' past commanding officers, friends and family of the ship's namesake, the late Adm. John H. Sides, assembled to honor the men who served in the ship. Joanne Sides Watson, Adm. Sides' daughter and the ship's sponsor, was in attendance. In 2002, Sides participated in the war on terrorism, conducting maritime operations in support of Operations Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom during her last deployment. Also in 2002, she led a combined U.S.-Australian task group in defense of strategic interests in the Indian Ocean. Sides was designed to perform offensive and defensive sea control assignments, anti-submarine warfare screening of naval forces and convoys, anti-air picket surveillance and general escort operations.

John H. Sides

Throughout a distinguished naval career spanning nearly four decades, Admiral Sides contributed immensely to the field of weapons, specifically with regard to shipboard missile systems. The guided missile frigate Sides (FFG-14), the first ship so named in his honor, represents a most appropriate marriage of platform and namesake.

A native of Roslyn, Washington, Admiral Sides received his commission from the U.S. Naval Academy, having graduated with distinction in the class of 1925. His early sea tours were served principally aboard battleships. While ashore he pursued development of his specialty - ordnance - First, in 1942, as Chief of Ammunition and explosive section of the Bureau of Ordnance; then in 1948 as Deputy to the Assistant Chief of Naval Operations for Guided Missiles; in 1951 in the Office of the Director of Guided Missiles, Office of the Secretary of Defense; and, most notably, in 1952, as Director of the Guided Missile Division, Office of the CNO, from which he director the Navy's Guided Missile Efforts for almost four years.

Admiral Sides at sea commands include: Commander Mine Division Eight (1944), Commander Destroyer Squadron Forty-Seven (1945), USS ALBANY (1950), and Commander Cruiser Division Six (1956).

On August 31, 1960, he was appointed Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet, and served in that capacity until 1963 at which time he retired from active duty. He passed away April 3, 1978 leaving his spouse, the former Virginia E. Roach and daughter, Mrs. Joanne Savina Sides Watson.



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list