Destroyer Squadron TWO
Since 1919, Destroyer Squadron TWO has operated in numerous theaters with a continually changing mix of ships and missions. Throughout this period the men, women and ships of the Squadron have earned a distinguished reputation of professionalism and dedication,"SECOND TO NONE".
Destroyer Squadron TWO was formed in the Atlantic Fleet in May 1919 making it the oldest squadron in the service. For this reason, Destroyer Squadron TWO is also known as the Premier Squadron, the first among equals. The squadron was composed of ten six ship divisions with the cruiser COLUMBIA serving as the flagship. In 1919 the term "squadron" was used as group is today.
By January 1920, the entire squadron was transferred to the Reserve Fleet. With a reorganization of the Fleet in September 1920, the term squadron came into its present usage. Destroyer Squadron TWO was then organized into Flotilla THREE, Destroyer Force, U. S. Atlantic Fleet. In July 1929, the squadron was disestablished. In April 1931, Destroyer Squadron TWO was reestablished and operated with the Pacific Fleet until January 1937 at which time the entire squadron was decommissioned in San Diego. Destroyer Squadron TWO was next organized in September 1937 in Destroyer Scouting Force, U. S. Fleet operating in the Pacific. In June 1939, the squadron was redesignated as Destroyer Squadron THREE. The term "Destroyer Squadron TWO" was not used again until February 1940 when it was reestablished in the Pacific Fleet. February 1941 found Destroyer Squadron TWO again on the East Coast. Several squadron reorganizations were effected during World War II. Several months after the cessation of hostilities, the squadron again joined the mothball fleet.
In January 1946, Destroyer Squadron SIXTY SIX was designated Destroyer Squadron TWO and ordered to the Atlantic. During the Korean War, the "Second to None" squadron served with distinction with Task Forces 77 and 95. The assignments were many and varied: shore bombardment, search and rescue, anti-submarine screening, picket duty and air control missions. Since 1952, the squadron has operated almost continuously with the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Middle East Forces. Of special note is COMDESRON TWO's distinguished service in Vietnam in 1968, with many staff members earning the Navy Commendation Medal.
In April 1978, Destroyer Squadron TWO became one of the six non-deploying Readiness Squadrons. In this capacity, Destroyer Squadron TWO served as the training arm of COMCRUDESGRU EIGHT in Norfolk, Virginia. In February 1991, the squadron was awarded the Humanitarian Service Medal for Hurricane Hugo relief efforts for the period 20 September to 1 October 1989. 1992 was a year of dramatic changes for COMDESRON TWO. As a result of the Navy's reorganization and downsizing, DESRON TEN was decommissioned and absorbed into COMDESRON TWO. This realignment gave Destroyer Squadron TWO five classes of ships to train and maintain.
Commander, Destroyer Squadron TWO also assumed the title of Commander, Naval Surface Group, Norfolk (COMNAVREGSUFGRU). In this additional capacity, Destroyer Squadron TWO was the manning, material, and readiness expert for all eighteen cruisers and destroyers homeported in Norfolk.
Again in 1995, another major change occurred. As part of the Chief of Naval Operations reorganization of the Atlantic Fleet's surface force, seven destroyer squadrons were established in Norfolk as of 1 September. Destroyer Squadron 2, formerly a non-deploying readiness squadron, was disestablished; then, along with Destroyer squadrons 18 and 28, was reestablished with permanently assigned ships. Destroyer Squadron TWO reported directly to COMNAVSURLANT and was composed of six ships: ARLEIGH BURKE (DDG-51), CARR (FFG 52), DEYO (DD-989), STUMP (DD-978), MITSCHER (DDG 57) and USS PORTER (DDG 78).
In June 1998, Destroyer Squadron TWO departed Norfolk, Virginia on Mediterranean Deployment 98-3. While on deployment, they operated with the EISENHOWER Battle Group, and participated in seven bi-lateral and multi-lateral exercises, as well as supporting NATO in enforcing NATO Security Council Resolutions during the Kosovo crisis.
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