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DD 991 Fife
"Endeavor to Deserve Success"

The official crest of USS Fife is highly symbolic of the ship's namesake, Admiral James Fife, Jr. Admiral Fife was an especially distinguished submariner. The dolphins, old maritime symbols, represent his career that included service in both Atlantic and Pacific Oceans during World Wars I and II. The dolphins are adapted from the submarine service badges and signify Admiral Fife's service. The dolphins also symbolize USS Fife's mission of anti-submarine warfare. The red torpedo alludes to Admiral Fife's submarine command during World War II; the red color denotes his active service during war. The three gold discs on the torpedo represent the three Distinguished Service Medals awarded to Admiral Fife for his exceptional service during the war.

The gold and dark blue of the shield are colors associated with the Navy and symbolize the sea and excellence. The shield is divided into three sections to represent the air, surface, and subsurface environments of naval warfare. The bursting bomb extends into all areas of the shield and signifies the versatility and striking power of USS Fife.


USS Fife is a versatile multi-mission destroyer capable of operating independently or as an integral part of a powerful battle group. The USS Fife's principal mission is to detect, classify, and engage hostile submarines. The ship's anti-submarine weapons include ship and helicopter launched torpedoes. In addition, Fife is tasked with defeating enemy surface warships for which it has two guns and anti-ship missiles. The destroyer is also outfitted with the Vertical Launch System and Tomahawk Cruise Missile System -- allowing the USS Fife to attack land targets with great accuracy and at long range. Fife carries short-range guided missiles and rapid-fire guns to provide protection from enemy aircraft and missiles.

As part of a reorganization by the Pacific Fleet's surface ships into six core battle groups and eight destroyer squadrons, with the reorganization scheduled to be completed by October 1, 1995, and homeport changes to be completed within the folowing, year, the USS Hewitt was reassigned to Destroyer Squadron 15.

The USS Fife (DD 991) took part in the U.S. and Australian combined military training exercise Tandem Thrust '97. The three-week exercise took place on land and off shore in northeast Australia from March 1 to 22, 1997. With 28,170 troops, 252 aircraft and 43 ships the exercise trained 7th Fleet and Australian Defense Force staffs in crisis action planning and contingency response operations. It was the fourth in a series ofexercises that began in 1990. That year's was the first with Australian forces and the first to use Australia's Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA). It included carrier battle group and amphibious ready group operations, amphibious landings, live fire exercises, ground maneuvers and parachute landings.

The USS Fife then took part in the the 16th Cobra Gold exercise. The exercise was the second in which a Thai General had been appointed commander of the exercise combined-joint task force. The exercise was one of the largest exercises involving U.S. forces in the Pacific Command, Cobra Gold '97 is a nine-day bilateral exercise that aimed to strengthen the working relationship between Thai and U.S. forces. It included joint-combined air operations; combined naval operations; amphibious operations; and special operations with elements of U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force.

The USS Fife, along with the USS Curts (FFG 38), then took part in exercise Sea Eagle 97 with the Royal Thai navy ships HTMS Phudayatfa Choulalouc (FFG 461) and HTMS Rattanakosin (FSG 441), in mid-1997. The four-day exercise emphasized teamwork and strengthening international cooperation. Sea Eagle also featured a gunnery exercise that gave the ships an opportunity to shoot at the "killer tomato," a surface gunfire target with a name suggested by its size, bright red color and round shape.

The USS Fife, along with the USS Independence Battle Group, then returned home in June 1997, after spending four months in the Western Pacific, and performing training exercises in the Solomon Sea, the Coral Sea, the Great Australian Bight, the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea.

The USS Fife took part, with the USS Independence (CV 62) Battle Group in the six-day long ANNUALEX exercise in November 1997 with approximately 120 ships and 180 aircraft from the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) in the waters surrounding Japan. The exercise tested the capabilities for coordinated/bilateral operations in defense of Japan.

The USS Fife (DD 991) took part in the undersea warfare training exercise SHAREM 108 in early 1998. The exercise, with Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) ships, took place in the Tsushima Strait, which divides Japan and the Republic of Korea. During ten days of intensive operations, surface combatants and supporting aircraft tested and honed their undersea warfare skills against Japanese diesel submarines. Through a series of structured and free-play events, the combined U.S. Navy-Japanese forces evaluated sensors and tactics. U.S. Navy and JMSDF P-3C maritime patrol aircraft and SH-60 helicopters provided near continuous air coverage.

The USS Fife was replaced at Yokosuka, on March 31, 1998, by the USS Cushing (DD 985), then homeported in Pearl Harbor. The USS Fife, relieved of its assignment to Destroyer Squadron 15 then changed homeports to Everett, WA.

Following the crash of the commercial airliner, Alaska Airlines Flight 261, on January 31, 2000, off the coast of California, Navy ships, aircraft, euqipment and personnel were pooled at NAS Point Mugu to join initial U.S. Coast Guard efforts and ongoing National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recovery operations, whie NCB Port Hueneme provided continuous support for port operations and served as a command operations center for the many agencies involved in the recovery operations. The USS Fife was one of the Navy assets deployed to the area and supported search and rescue efforts.

The USS Fife was decommissioned on February 28th, 2003. Following decommissioning Fife will be towed to Naval Station Bremerton and placed on hold prior to mothballing for four months as she could be reactivated if the need arises.

Admiral James Fife, Jr.

USS Fife is named in honor of Admiral James Fife, Jr., a distinguished naval officer who served during both World Wars and on both surface combatants and submarines.

During World War II, Admiral Fife commanded Submarine Squadron 20 (under Admiral T. C. Hart) and later served as Chief of Staff to the Commander of Submarines, Asiatic Fleet, until July 1942. He served with General MacArthur as the representative of Admiral A. S. Carpenter during the Buna campaign.

Admiral Fife was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal three times. The first two awards were given for meritorious service as the Chief of Staff to Commander Submarines, Asiatic Fleet. Admiral Fife earned the third award for service as Commander Submarines, Southwest Pacific; Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Western Australia; and Commander Task Force 71. He also received the Air Medal from the U. S. Army.

From April 1947 until 1950, Admiral Fife commanded the Submarine Force, Atlantic Fleet. This assignment was followed by duty as Assistant Chief, and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Operations). His final assignment before retirement was as U.S. Naval Deputy Commander in Chief, Mediterranean, under Admiral Mountbatten, Royal Navy.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:54:16 ZULU