FFG 38 | USS CURTS
Admiral Maurice E. Curts
USS CURTS was commissioned 8 October 1983 after construction at the Todd Pacific Shipyards, San Pedro, California. The first years in commission were focused on anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations as CURTS was the first Pacific Fleet unit with the complete SQQ-89 ASW Suite. CURTS served in Destroyer Squadron 31 -- the ASW squadron -- from 1985 until mid-1987. CURTS was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation for brilliant performance in the tracking of Soviet submarines.
Increased tensions in the Middle East as a result of the STARK incident in 1987 resulted in CURTS assignment to the USS MISSOURI battle group. For their 1987-88 deployment, the battle group was awarded the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for efforts in support of Operation Earnest Will in the northern Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman.
A new era for CURTS began 1 June 1988 with departure from Long Beach, California for a new homeport in Yokosuka, Japan. CURTS and a sister ship brought the first LAMPS MK III helicopters to Naval Air Facility, Atsugi. A busy first year was culminated by a deployment to the Middle East Force in support of Operation Earnest Will.
In 1990, CURTS joined the battle group of aircraft carrier USS MIDWAY and deployed to support Operation Desert Shield. While crossing the South China Sea on 17 October 1990, CURTS rescued 50 Vietnamese refugees from a disabled fishing boat that had been drifting for ten days. The last two months of 1990 were spent conducting Maritime Interception Force Operations in the Gulf of Oman.
An incredible year began as CURTS entered the Persian Gulf in 1991. Assignment to the northernmost group of ships in the Persian gulf at the outbreak of Operation Desert Storm resulted in CURTS being in the middle of virtually all naval combat operations during the war. On 24 January 1991, CURTS with her embarked Navy and Army helicopters captured the Iraqi garrison on Qaruh Island. The net result was one island liberated, fifty-one Iraqi prisoners captured, two mines destroyed, one minelayer sunk, and a wealth of intelligence materials seized. Support of combat helicopter operations during Battle of Bubiyan Island and escort for the battleships USS MISSOURI and USS WISCONSIN during Naval Gunfire Support missions were equally demanding. Assignment to the mine countermeasures escort force for the amphibious feint off Faylakah Island kept every crewmember on edge until the cease-fire was declared. Rejoining the MIDWAY battle group, CURTS returned to homeport on 17 April. A Navy Unit Commendation was received for membership in the Arabian Gulf Battle Force. While assigned in support of Operation Desert Storm, CURTS was announced as the winner of the Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy as the most improved command in the entire Pacific Fleet for fiscal year 1990.
In June 1991, CURTS once again found themselves in the midst of another calamity as the eruption of Mount Pinatubo occurred while inport Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines. After digging out from under about a foot of grit, rocks, and ask CURTS was underway the same day to transport 298 evacuees to the island of Cebu during Operation Fiery Vigil. Another round trip brought 249 additional evacuees to safety.
In the latter half of 1992, CURTS completed extensive joint Navy exercises with Korean, Australian, and Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) navies. During these exercises, CURTS had the opportunity to make port calls in Korea and Australia.
In October 1993, CURTS joined the USS INDEPENDENCE battle group to participate with the JMSDF in the joint anti-submarine warfare exercise MAREX. On 17 November, CURTS steamed out of Yokosuka with the INDEPENDENCE battle group for a Middle East deployment. CURTS was assigned to the Red Sea where she conducted 89 boardings as part of the Maritime Interdiction Force supporting United Nations sanctions against Iraq. CURTS rejoined the battle group in the Arabian Gulf were she continued the enforcement of U. N. sanctions. While transiting the Gulf of Oman, CURTS discovered an adrift livestock vessel. Assistance was rendered and the vessel along with its 23 crew members was towed to Oman.
The navy division of the shield
alludes to the oceans of the world. The flaunches suggest radar waves,
in reference to the outstanding contributions to the development of
radar made by the ship's namesake Admiral Maurice E. Curts. The four
stars in chief denote his highest rank achieved while on active duty.
The flaming bomb in base refers to Admiral Curts' combat service during
the Philippine Islands battles of World War II. The cross pattee
signifies the Navy Cross awarded to him for heroic conduct while
commanding the USS COLUMBIA during those battles.