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DDG 54 Curtis Wilbur

From March 18 through the 20th, 2002, the Curtis Wilbur made a port visit to Pusan before getting underway for exercises with the Republic of Korea Navy. Although not a full liberty port due to the amount of preparation needed to conduct the exercises, Curtis Wilbur sailors did have an opportunity to go ashore. While in port, Curtis Wilbur hosted a delegation of 10 Republic of Korea Naval Officers along with 10 civilian representatives.

Curtis Wilbur participated in MISSILEX 02, an anti-ship missile defense training evolution, was conducted Feb. 7 and 8 2002 as part of a multi-sail battle group interoperability exercise by nine ships of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF) in Japan.

The Curtis Wilbur paid a three day port of call in December 2001 to Phuket, Thailand.

While underway in the Philippine Sea March 11, 2001, USS Curtis Wilbur participated in multi-ship divisional tactics (DIVTACS) training with four Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) ships. This training gave the Curtis Wilbur crew an opportunity to operate closely with the JMSDF ships and to sharpen their own shiphandling skills.

The USS Curtis Wilbur dropped anchor off the coast of Dili, East Timor, Feb. 22, 2001 and became the latest U.S. Navy asset to continue humanitarian port visits in East Timor in support of the country's transition to independence. While in East Timor the Curtis Wilbur worked under the command of U.S. Support Group East Timor (USGET), an American military command subordinate to the U.S. Pacific command in Hawaii.

USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) departed Yokosuka, Japan the morning of January 23, 2001 for a scheduled five-month deployment in the Western Pacific Ocean. During Curtis Wilbur's scheduled deployment, the ship participated in a number of bilateral and multinational exercises with several countries in the Western Pacific region. Curtis Wilbur was scheduled to participate in exercises SHAREM 136 and Tandem Thrust. The ship was also planning to make a number of port visits during the deployment, including Korea, Australia, Singapore and Thailand

In August 2000 USS Curtis Wilbur departed Yokosuka and began a two-week underway period centered around multi-national anti-submarine warfare exercise, SHAREM 134.

Curtis Wilbur became the first-ever Aegis destroyer to complete a drydocking selected restricted availability (DSRA) in Yokosuka, Japan May 15, 2000. The 8,000-ton Arleigh Burke-class destroyer entered drydock March 29 and six weeks later ship repair facility (SRF) workers flooded the nearly 100-year-old drydock, lifting Curtis Wilbur off granite blocks atop the waters of Yokosuka Harbor. After the drydock's caisson opened, Navy tugs guided the warship pierside where it will complete the remaining two weeks of its repair period.

Curtis Wilbur underwent extensive installations and upgrades during the drydock portion of its availability that included a metal and glass pulper/shredder, a reverse osmosis (RO) desalinization plant and a stern flap. The pulper/shredder enables Curtis Wilbur to be even more environmentally conscious by processing trash, metal and plastics safely. The RO replaces the ship's old labor-intensive vapor compression distiller plant, allowing the ship to desalinate seawater to make potable water much faster. The stern flap reduces drag on the ship as it moves forward through the water, effecting fuel savings at an annual rate of five to seven percent, or nearly $2 million.

The drydock period also allowed the ship to have its hull waterblasted, removing paint accumulated over the past five years. SRF also accomplished hull maintenance and corrosion control work during the drydock period that is simply impossible to accomplish when the ship is afloat. In addition to improving the ship's material condition, every area of the destroyer's combat systems suite was upgraded.

In June 1999, Curtis Wilbur reached the halfway point of the ship's second Arabian Gulf deployment. Initially scheduled for a Western Pacific deployment as part of the USS Kitty Hawk Carrier Battlegroup, the Aegis destroyer was ordered to the Arabian Gulf in March along with USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) and USS Chancellorsville (CG-62), after President Clinton dispatched the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) battlegroup to the Adriatic Sea to support NATO forces in that region. After completing exercise Tandem Thrust '99, an annual multi-national training exercise, these three forward-deployed units, forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, conducted a high speed transit from Guam in order to relieve USS Enterprise (CVN-65) battlegroup as it completed its Arabian Gulf deployment.

Immediately upon its April 20th 1999, arrival in the Gulf, Curtis Wilbur began participating in Operation Southern Watch by enforcing the Southern no-fly zone over Iraq and enforcing United Nations sanctions against Iraq by conducting maritime interception operations. These operations in the northern Arabian Gulf involve placing the ship's visit, board, search and seizure teams on merchant vessels to inspect their cargoes, ensuring compliance with United Nations Security Council resolutions.

USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) brought its inter-deployment training cycle to a conclusion as it completed the final evaluation period (FEP) Jan. 19 - 21. As the ship got underway just one week following holiday standown and change of command, the training teams looked forward to challenging the crew with a dynamic and exciting three-day scenario. Curtis Wilbur's crew responded with a level of enthusiasm and expertise that left no doubt as to their combat readiness. During the course of the FEP, Curtis Wilbur successfully completed condition one battle problems, engineering drills, a wide range of seamanship exercises, a chemical warfare drill and a variety of scenarios designed to exercise its combat systems from a normal underway condition. The FEP concluded with a total ship survivability exercise that the ATG described as "the most aggressive and challenging scenario" it had seen in the forward deployed Naval force.

Ship Shield and Crest

The shield is colored with red, white and blue and are the national colors. Dark blue and gold are the colors traditionally associated with the Navy. Red denotes courage, white is for integrity and gold stands for excellence and high ideals. The anchor is reminiscent of maritime tradition and excellence of achievement. The gavel represents Curtis Wilbur, for whom the ship is named, as a distinguished jurist. The hammer suggests his role in shipbuilding revival. His major objective was to unite a strong Navy. The gavel and hammer are crossed to express strength. The embattled bordure alludes to the fortress like quality of a DDG ship.

The eagle, on the shield, is adapted from the Secretary of Navy seal referring to Curtis Wilbur's support of naval aviation. The three missiles are reminiscent of a trident, a traditional symbol of sea power, and represent the modern technology and power of the ship in the three traditional warfare missions of a destroyer: air, surface, and subsurface.

Curtis Dwight Wilbur

The forty-third Secretary of the Navy, Curtis Dwight Wilbur, was born in Boonesboro, Iowa, on May 10, 1867. He was appointed to the United States Naval Academy in 1884. Shortly after graduation, Curtis Wilbur resigned his commission, a common practice at the time, and moved to Riverside, California. He was admitted to the California bar in 1890 and served as Los Angeles Deputy Assistant District Attorney. Curtis Wilbur moved to the Superior Court in 1903, and finally, in 1918, to the California Supreme Court where he served as Chief Justice.

On March 19, 1924, Curtis Wilbur was sworn in as Secretary of the Navy. The first appointee of President Calvin Coolidge. Curtis Wilbur came into the position with a reputation as a man of high intellect and a character of "unimpeachable integrity."

By the end of his term, Curtis Wilbur had achieved success in enlarging and modernizing the fleet and established a naval air force which would grow to become a potent component in the war with Japan.

When Herbert Hoover became president in 1929, he appointed Curtis Wilbur to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. He served with distinction as the presiding judge until his retirement in 1945. Following retirement, Curtis Wilbur spent time with his wife, Olive Doolittle, and his three children; Edna, Paul and Lyman Dwight. The Honorable Curtis D. Wilbur passed away in 1954.



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