USS CURTS
FFG 38
  
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USS Curts (FFG 38) was commissioned October 8, 1983, and named after the former commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, Maurice E. Curts, and has been part of the U.S. Naval Reserve since Sept. 30, 1998. Curts is based in San Diego.

The first years in commission were focused on anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations as she 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. She 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 USS Stark incident in 1987 resulted in USS 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 the guided missile frigate began June 1, 1988, with departure from Long Beach, California, for a new homeport in Yokosuka, Japan. The frigate 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, USS Curts joined the battle group of aircraft carrier USS Midway and deployed to support Operation Desert Shield.

October 17, 1990 While crossing the South China Sea, she 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 FFG 38 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 January 14, 1991, the frigate 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, USS Curts returned to homeport on April 17.

In June 1991, USS 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 ash she 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, FFG 38 completed extensive joint Navy exercises with Korean, Australian, and Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) navies. During these exercises, the frigate had the opportunity to make port calls in Korea and Australia.

In October 1993, USS Curts joined the USS Independence Battle Group to participate with the JMSDF in the joint anti-submarine warfare exercise MAREX. On November 17, she steamed out of Yokosuka with the CV 62 Battle Group for a Middle East deployment. The frigate was assigned to the Red Sea where she conducted 89 boardings as part of the Maritime Interdiction Force supporting United Nations sanctions against Iraq. The Curts rejoined the battle group in the Arabian Gulf were she continued the enforcement of U. N. sanctions. While transiting the Gulf of Oman, she discovered an adrift livestock vessel. Assistance was rendered and the vessel along with its 23 crew members was towed to Oman.

May 2001, USS Curts, commanded by Cmdr. Lewis C. Nygard, arrived at Changi Naval Base, Singapore, recently to take part in the International Maritime Defense Exhibition and Conference (IMDEX) 2001, May 8-11. During the event, 200 exhibitors from 24 countries displayed the latest technology and products their companies offer. Curts is one of 16 ships from 13 countries taking part in IMDEX Asia. After IMDEX Asia, Curts will cruise throughout the western Pacific region this summer as part of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT).

July 15, 2003 The crew of the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Curts (FFG 38), commanded by Cmdr. Bryan T. Caraveo, logged a couple of firsts July 8-12, as the first surface combatant to take part in the annual South Asia Search and Rescue Exercise (SAREX), and the first U.S. Navy ship in more than a year to visit Chennai, India. The port visit was in conjunction with the third SAREX, a multilateral exercise designed to train exercise participants and enhance cooperation on regional nighttime search and rescue procedures.

August 3, 2004 Just one day after getting underway, USS Curts was called upon to support an urgent medical evacuation of a crew member stationed aboard the U.S. Coast Guard buoy tender Sequoia (WLB 214). The call came across during the early morning hours while the San Diego-based guided missile frigate was operating off the coast of Baja, Calif. FFG 38 is currently underway for a five-month deployment in support of counter-drug operations in the eastern Pacific.

August 28, The guided-missile frigate rescued 106 passengers of a distressed vessel 300 miles east of Ecuador while deployed to the U.S. southern Command AoR. The rescued passengers were transferred to the Ecuadorian coastal patrol ship BAE "27 de Octubre," to safely complete their journey back home.

September 17, USS Curts intercepted a suspected fishing vessel approximately 300 miles west of the Galapagos Islands. After boarding the vessel, Curts’ embarked Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) 108 discovered more than 30,000 pounds of cocaine, the largest drug seizure to date, hidden in a ship’s compartment. The drugs were seized to be used as evidence against the 10 suspects detained during this operation. This is Curts' second interdiction since it deployed to the AoR in the beginning of August.

November 5, FFG 38 offloaded and turned over to authorities 75,000 pounds of cocaine in Key West, Fla. The multi-ton shipment, valued at more than $2.3 billion, is the result of five drug interdiction operations conducted in the eastern Pacific between Aug. 31 and Sept. 26. Curts directly supported three of the interdictions, totaling more than 44,000 pounds. The remaining 31,000 pounds of narcotics included in the offload were seized in two different operations: one conducted by USS Crommelin (FFG 37) with a LEDET (Law Enforcement Detachment), and another by USCGC Jarvis (WHEC 725).

February 2, 2005 USS Curts returned to San Diego from a six-month deployment to the U.S. Naval Forces southern Command area of responsibility (AoR) in support of law enforcement operations against the illegal smuggling of narcotics. While deployed, the frigate also operated in the Atlantic Ocean, transiting through the Panama Canal Oct. 31 and visiting Key West and Mayport, Fla., for a mid-deployment maintenance availability. The Curts returned to the Pacific Ocean Dec. 9, visiting the ports of Vasco Nunez de Balboa, Panama; Acapulco and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, en route to San Diego.

November 4, FFG 38 returned to San Diego after an underway period off the coast of southern California.

August 25, 2006 USS Curts, commanded by Cmdr. William DeBow, recently visited Freeport, Bahamas. The guided missile frigate, along with its embarked SH-60B helicopter detachment, HSL-49, is currently deployed under the operational control of U.S. Naval Forces southern Command as part of a Joint/Inter-Agency Task force conducting counter-narcotics trafficking operations in the Caribbean and eastern Pacific.

September 28, FFG 38 pulled into Lima, Peru, in mid-September for a four-day port visit to the country.

November 9, Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 49 returned to Naval Air Station North Island, Calif., Oct. 27 from a successful six-month counter-narco terrorism (CNT) deployment aboard USS Curts. The most successful counter drug operation of this deployment resulted in the capture and transfer of personnel and 8.5 metric tons of cocaine, which has an estimated street value of $850 million. HSL-49, Det. 2 also flew two injured detainees ashore for medical treatment, conducted a search for 10 fishermen whose boat had capsized, and transported a Sailor ashore for emergency leave.

September 12, 2007 USS Curts, commanded by Cmdr. Yvette M. Davids, is currently off the coast of southern California conducting routine operations.

November 12, FFG 38 is currently participating in a Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX), as part of USS Abraham Lincoln CSG.

January 20, 2008 The guided-missile frigate is currently off the coast of southern California participating in a Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX).

March 17, USS Curts departed San Diego for a scheduled deployment.

April 22, FFG 38 departed Lumut, Malaysia, after a five-day port visit.

May 15, The Curts recently visited Karachi, Pakistan, during the Exercise Insipred Union 2008 in the North Arabian Sea.

July 9, USS Curts and USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52), along with other coalition ships from Bahrain and United Kingdom, are currently participating in Exercise Stake Net to protect key economic infrastructure in the central and southern Persian Gulf.

September 20, The guided-missile frigate departed Koror, Palau, after a six-day port call.

October 8, FFG 38 returned to homeport after a nearly seven-month underway period in support of the global war on terrorism and maritime security operations.

January 8, 2010 USS Curts, commanded by Cmdr. Harold T. Workman, departed Naval Base San Diego for a scheduled deployment to the western Pacific and Persian Gulf.

July 16, USS Curts returned to San Diego after completing an independent deployment in the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet Areas of Responsibility (AoR). The ship conducted four Suez Canal transits, two exercises with the Egyptian Navy and participated in Exercise Malabar 2010, a week-long bilateral military exercise which aims to promote the interoperability of the U.S. Navy and Indian Navy. The Curts also visited Guam; Sepangar, Malaysia; Phuket, Thailand; and Male, Maldives.

August 25, The guided-missile frigate is currently participating in Exercise Quickdraw with the U.S. Coast Guard and assets from the Mexican navy off the coast of San Diego. Quickdraw is designed to test a ship’s response time to a security or Maritime Homeland Defense threat with coordination from Department of Homeland Security and other coalition partners.

September 3, USS Curts arrived in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, for a goodwill port visit.

October 8, FFG 38 recently arrived in San Francisco to participate in the Fleet Week 2010 celebration.

April 29, 2011 The Curts, along with USS Vandegrift (FFG 48), entered the dry-dock at General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard for more than $17 million in repairs and upgrades.

September 2, Cmdr. Fermin Espinoza relieved David M. Rowland as CO of the Curts.

June 1, 2012 USS Curts, with an embarked Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 49 Det. 5, departed San Diego for its final deployment, before being decommissioned next year, in support of counter-illicit trafficking in the U.S. Southern Command AoO.

July 17, The guided-missile frigate recently departed Bahia Malaga naval base, Colombia, after three days of liberty.

August 15, USS Curts recently pulled into Vasco Nunez de Balboa Naval Base in Panama for a routine port call.

September 4, The Curts recently retrieved 750 pounds of cocaine after interdicted a "go-fast" speed boat in the eastern Pacific.

October 6, FFG 38 recovered approximately 627 pounds of cocaine after interdicted a fishing vessel in international waters off the coast of Ecuador.

December 4, USS Curts returned to Naval Base San Diego after a six-month deployment. While supporting Operation Martillo, the ship recovered more than 2,200 pounds of illegal narcotics with an estimated street value of $25 million.

January 25, 2013 USS Curts held a decommissioning ceremony at Naval Base San Diego. The ship left the fleet after a nearly 30 years of active servise and will be towed to Hawaii to be sold or scrapped.

February 27, The Curts (FFG 38) was officially decommissioned and stricken from the U.S. Naval Vessel Register.