FFG 37 Crommelin
USS Crommelin's keel was laid on 30 May 1980 at Todd Pacific Shipyard, Seattle Division. The frigate was christened and launched on 2 July 1981. Commissioned on 18 June 1983, Crommelin was assigned to Destroyer Squadron 9 and reached its homeport of Long Beach, California in August 1983.
In 1985, Crommelin was assigned to the USS CONSTELLATION battle group and deployed to the western Pacific and Indian Oceans. During this deployment, Crommelin became the first FFG to successfully engage a high-speed, maneuvering target with missiles. It was also the first ship to complete an operational deployment with the LAMPS MK III weapon system. In June 1986, Crommelin received the first CNO LAMPS MK III Safety Award.
In the summer of 1986, Crommelin was awarded every departmental and divisional excellence award and won its first Navy "E" award. In 1987, Crommelin was assigned to Destroyer Squadron 13 and began an accelerated deployment with the CONSTELLATION battle group. Crommelin was the first FFG to deploy with two LAMPS MK III helicopters embarked. Crommelin was assigned to Commander, Middle East Force from 1 July to 25 August 1987, earning a Meritorious Unit Commendation for the convoy escort of the first five reflagged Kuwaiti tankers.
On 1 January 1988, Crommelin was reassigned to Destroyer Squadron 9, and on 6 March 1988, the ship received a second consecutive Navy "E" award. Upon completion of its second availability period at Todd Pacific Shipyard, Crommelin was deployed in support of Joint Service, Counternarcotics Operations in the Central, South American, and Caribbean theater. Crommelin was awarded the Joint Services Meritorious Unit Award for its performance during this deployment. In 1991, Crommelin received the Navy "E" as well as its fifth consecutive warfare excellence awards for anti-air and anti-surface warfare, navigation and seamanship, damage control, engineering, and communications. On 1 September 1991, Crommelin shifted homeports to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and joined Destroyer Squadron 31.
Crommelin completed a second four-month counternarcotics deployment in the Central, South American and Caribbean theater from November 1992 to March 1993. Upon return to its homeport of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Crommelin was assigned to Commander Naval Surface Group, Middle Pacific.
In Feb. 2001 the Crommelin returned from a WESTPAC deployment with the Abraham Lincoln Battle Group.
In Dec. 2001 FFG 37 had the opportunity to serve as a testing bed for the employment of U.S. Army helicopter OH-58s from her flight deck. Three OH-58s and their crews from the U.S. Army 3rd Squadron 4th Aviation Cavalry Regiment/25th ID (L) were embarked onboard for the trials. The Crommelin, working together with Joint Shipboard Helicopter Integration Process (JSHIP) personnel, successfully increased the operational maneuvering envelopes, on deck safety procedures and improved operational tactics necessary for future joint operations.
USS Crommelin (FFG 37) worked together with USS Reuben James (FFG 57) to resolve many of the issues associated with the Army OH-58s operating on the decks of Navy frigates. Hours were spent in the rolling seas off the coast of Hawaii documenting safe flight envelopes and recording safe deck handling procedures for the OH-58s.
The Crommelin returned to Pearl Harbor on April 22, 2003 following a six-month deployment to the SOUTHCOM AOR where she took part in drug interdiction operations. Crommelin also was involved in three rescues at sea, rescuing 174 Ecuadorian citizens from a leaky vessel at sea, and lending assistance to two fishing vessels. U
USS Crommelin (FFG 37) returned home to Pearl Harbor on Nov. 12, 2004, after completing a successful six-month deployment to the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) area of responsibility (AOR). The most important highlight of the deployment was the interdiction of the fishing vessel San Jose. Working in conjunction with U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Det. (LEDET) 105, Crommelin intercepted the vessel San Jose and recovered a total of 525 bales of cocaine weighing approximately 10.5 metric tons. But this interdiction was preceded and followed by other highly successful operations. During her tenure in the SOUTHCOM AOR, Crommelin intercepted and recovered a total 20.5 metric tons of cocaine worth more than $1 billion, detained 29 drug smugglers and rescued a total of 96 people adrift at sea.
In her first month and a half on station, Crommelin, with Air Det. 3 from Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron, Light (HSL) 37 and U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Det. 102 were involved in numerous anti-narcotics cases. Her accomplishments included the query of 15 vessels suspected of supporting narcotics traffickers, the interception and boarding of 3 suspect vessels, the apprehension and detention of 10 smugglers, and the rescue of three fishermen 140 miles south of Costa Rica after they had been adrift on a disabled vessel for 17 days. Crommelin was also credited with the disruption of three smuggling operations, with one go-fast crew forced to jettison its illegal cargo and run to Costa Rican waters. In another instance, a go-fast beached itself in Panama while the crew ran away on foot empty handed. In the third case, the go-fast vessel beached itself in Mexico.
In mid-July, Crommelin turned south to Peru to join partner navies in UNITAS. As part of the largest maritime exercise in the region, the ship participated in numerous complex maritime exercises with ships and submarines from 10 South American countries. Barely taking time to catch its breath, the crew then repositioned north to Panama for PANAMAX 2004, a two-week exercise focused on the maritime defense of the Panama Canal from terrorist attacks.
Crommelin also made time to render assistance to vessels at sea in distress. Crommelin rescued 93 migrants Sept. 29 from a disabled fishing vessel and returned them to their home country of Ecuador.
The colors blue and gold are traditionally associated with the U. S. Navy. The three interlaced chevronels represent the Crommelin brothers after whom the ship is named. The two winged chevronels refer to the air exploits of Lieutenant Commander Richard and Commander Charles Crommelin who served and died as Naval aviators. The central chevronel over which an anchor is placed alludes to the surface ship career of Vice Admiral Henry Crommelin, the oldest and first to serve of the brothers.
The linked chevronels suggest the strength and determination of U. S. naval forces in their efforts to regain enemy held territories of the Pacific Ocean throughout World War II. It was in this effort that the Crommelin brothers so distinguished themselves.
The rampant sea lion is a symbolic creature associated with valor at sea; its head and mane are scarlet for courage and its body is gold for zeal and achievement. The scarlet sword recalls the fierce conflict of the Pacific war. The wings and silver collar with blue cross signify some of the decorations the brothers received, such as the Navy Cross, the Silver Star and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
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