USS Oriskany (CV-34/CVA-34) was an Essex-class aircraft carrier in service with the US Navy from 1950 to 1976. After decommissioning, Oriskany was laid up at the Naval Inactive Ship Facility at Bremerton, WA. The Navy announced on 5 April 2004, that it would transfer the former aircraft carrier to the State of Florida for use as an artificial reef. Towed to Pensacola, Oriskany was sunk with explosive charges on May 17, 2006. She now forms an artificial reef in the Gulf of Mexico.
The USS Rentz (FFG 46) is an Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate homeported at San Diego. In August this year, the frigate intercepted a $78 million cocaine shipment while conducting counter-narcotics operations in support of Operation Martillo. One of only 13 vessels in her class remaining in commission (of 71 built!), the Rentz is scheduled to decommission during FY 2014. But considering how busy she’s been, it does not look like the Rentz intends to go quietly and without fanfare. Good work. Good work indeed.
Lost at Sea: U.S. Navy Ship Rescues 5 Off Ecuador
Guided-missile frigate USS Rentz (FFG 46) and embarked U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) conducted a Safety-of-Life-at-Sea operation rescue Oct. 20-21 for a fishing vessel, 200 nautical miles off the coast of Ecuador in distress and stranded for 10 days.
The crew of the 14 meter vessel and four other small crafts in tow, had been without fuel or food prior to Rentz’ arrival.
The distressed vessel was spotted early Sunday morning, Oct. 20 by Rentz’ forward lookouts, who reported the small craft roughly 6,000 yards forward of the ship’s position. The ship swiftly responded and launched a rigid-hulled inflatable boat to investigate the situation with embarked U.S. Coast Guard LEDET personnel.
During the two-day rescue operation, LEDET personnel discovered that the vessel and five Ecuadorian nationals aboard had been struck by heavy weather, disorienting the crew and setting the small vessel 100 nautical miles off-course.
Adrift and out of fuel, the crew subsisted on bananas until Rentz arrived on scene and provided meals, ready-to-eat and approximately 120 gallons of diesel fuel; enough to return to home.
“Our crew is prepared to handle a myriad of situations while deployed to the 4th Fleet Area of Operations, including Safety-of-Life-at-Sea operations. We do so with the utmost pride and professionalism, and it is our duty to assist those in need on the high seas when the time comes. I am very pleased with this operation and could not be more proud of the swift actions taken by our crew,” Cmdr. Lance Lantier, commanding officer of USS Rentz said.
Rentz is currently conducting counter transnational organized crime operations in the 4th Fleet Area of Operations as part of Operation Martillo which began in January 2012.
Updates to FY 2013 and FY 2014 decommissioning schedule per NAVADMIN 246/13.
USNS Flint (T-AE 32)
Inactivation scheduled 8 Nov 2013. Post decommissioning, vessel will be disposed of by scrapping.
USS Miami (SSN 775)
Inactivation 27 Sep 2013. Post inactivation, vessel has been placed in-commission/in-reserve pending decommissioning at a later date.
One of only 13 vessels in her class still in commission (out of 71 built!), the Retnz is scheduled to decommission in 2014.
Frigate Rentz seizes $78M in cocaine
A San Diego-based warship has seized cocaine worth about $78 million — just one week into its latest drug-busting operation.
The frigate Rentz deployed from Naval Base San Diego on July 25 for the seven-month campaign called Operation Martillo (Spanish for “hammer”).
The frigate’s crew wasted no time in starting their latest mission in the Eastern Pacific and Caribbean.
Less than a week on station in the 4th Fleet area of responsibility, servicemen seized 2,123 pounds of cocaine from a fishing vessel north of the Galapagos Islands.
“We are very fortunate to have the Rentz and embarked Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment on patrol conducting counter transnational organized crime operations,” said Rear Adm. Sinclair M. Harris, commander of the U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/4th Fleet.
“This major seizure in the first week the ship is on station is a clear indicator that illicit activities are taking place and must be addressed to counter their destabilizing affects in the region and in our nation.”
Operation Martillo targets illicit trafficking routes in coastal waters along the Central American isthmus, and is an international, interagency operation led by Joint Interagency Task Force-South, a component of U.S. Southern Command.
During last week’s operation, the Rentz worked closely with a Navy P-3 Orion long-range patrol aircraft to detect and intercept the fishing vessel suspected of smuggling narcotics in international waters.
The U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment team aboard the frigate discovered and confiscated the cache of cocaine shortly after boarding the vessel.
Since Operation Martillo started in January 2012, 318,133 pounds of cocaine and 25,052 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $40 billion have been confiscated.
As well as targeting drug runners in the waterways, the Rentz will also take part in the annual multinational UNITAS maritime exercise next month.
This exercise will be conducted in the Southern Caribbean Sea off the coast of Colombia with naval forces from Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, the United Kingdom and Canada.
The Rentz is an Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate.
The USS Miami will be scrapped, not repaired.
Navy drops plans to repair submarine Miami
The Navy has decided to scrap the Miami instead of repairing the nuclear-powered submarine because of budget cuts and growing costs of repairing damage from a fire set by a shipyard worker while the vessel was in dry dock at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine, officials said Tuesday.
Rear Adm. Rick Breckenridge, director of undersea warfare, said repairing the Groton, Conn.-based sub would have meant canceling work on dozens of other ships because of new budget restraints.
He said that would’ve hurt the Navy’s overall readiness.
“The Navy and the nation simply cannot afford to weaken other fleet readiness in the way that would be required to afford repairs to Miami,” Breckenridge said in a statement.
Inspections revealed that a significant number of components in the torpedo room and auxiliary machinery room would require replacement, further driving up the repair costs for the Miami. The Navy originally said it planned to repair the submarine, but the discovery of additional damage raised the cost, originally estimated to be about $450 million.
A shipyard worker, Casey James Fury of Portsmouth, N.H., was sentenced to 17 years in prison after admitting he set fire to the Miami, which was undergoing a 20-month overhaul at the Kittery shipyard.
It took 12 hours and the efforts of more than 100 firefighters to save the Los Angeles-class attack submarine. Seven people were hurt.
The fire, set on May 23, 2012, damaged forward compartments including living quarters, a command and control center and the torpedo room. Weapons had been removed for the repair, and the fire never reached the rear of the submarine, where the nuclear propulsion components are located.
U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King of Maine and Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire issued a statement blaming the decision to scrap the submarine on the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration.
“We are disappointed by the Navy’s decision to discontinue repairs to the USS Miami. Inactivating the Miami will mean a loss to our nuclear submarine fleet — yet another unfortunate consequence of the across-the-board cuts known as sequestration. We will continue to work together to find a responsible budget solution that replaces sequestration,” they said.
The Navy announced last summer that it intended to repair the Miami with a goal of returning it to service in 2015. The Navy said it would be cost-effective because the 22-year-old submarine could serve another 10 years.
The decision to deactivate the Miami was a difficult one, “taken after hard analysis and not made lightly,” Breckenridge said in his statement. “But in exchange for avoiding the cost of repairs, we will open up funds to support other vital maintenance efforts, improving the wholeness and readiness of the fleet.”
The repairs have potential implications for both Portsmouth Naval Shipyard workers and workers from Electric Boat in Groton, who expected to play a major role in the repair effort.