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Command History
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COMDESRON THIRTY SIX

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Command History

   Destroyer Squadron THIRTY-SIX was first established 1 July 1956.  The squadron was primarily organized for antisubmarine warfare, being composed of six escort destroyers (Gearing class DDEs).   The first overseas deployment of the squadron was a North Atlantic cruise originally scheduled to consist of ASW exercises with NATO countries in the North Atlantic.  The North Atlantic cruise was interrupted when the squadron was ordered to the Mediterranean to augment the U.S. SIXTH Fleet during the November 1956 Suez crisis.   Destroyer Squadron THIRTY-SIX was the Senior Officer Present Afloat during the early phases of the Lebanon crisis, providing support for the amphibious operation.

    For the next several years, Destroyer Squadron THIRTY-SIX, when not deployed to the Mediterranean, was assigned to Task Group ALFA and ASW Group BRAVO.  While attached to these groups, the squadron was tasked with developing and evaluating antisubmarine tactics and equipment with particular emphasis on antisubmarine warfare support of carrier strike forces.  During this period, the squadron operated extensively in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean and Red Seas.   In February 1962, the squadron participated in Project Mercury, during which Colonel Glen successfully completed the United States' first orbital flight.  In October 1962,  Destroyer Squadron THIRTY-SIX sailed for Cuba in accordance with the proclamation of President John F. Kennedy.  Along with continued ASW operations, in 1964 and 1965 the squadron participated in operations relating to crisis in Cyprus and the Dominican Republic.

    Destroyer Squadron THIRTY-SIX entered the Pacific Ocean in September 1968 to augment the U.S. SEVENTH Fleet for operations in Southeast Asia.   During these operations, Destroyer Squadron THIRTY-SIX acted as Naval Gunfire Support Commander, providing gunfire support to free world gun forces involved in the hostilities in Vietnam.  The Squadron returned from the eight month Western Pacific deployment in April 1969.  Destroyer Squadron THIRTY-SIX augmented the SEVENTH Fleet again in May through August 1972.  Upon completion of gunfire support commander duties in August 1972, Destroyer Squadron THIRTY-SIX was disestablished due to an Atlantic Fleet reorganization.

    On 4 April 1978, Destroyer Squadron THIRTY-SIX was reestablished, utilizing from the disestablished Destroyer Squadron SIX Staff.  This reestablishment was part of a Surface Force Atlantic Fleet reorganization.  Destroyer Squadron THIRTY-SIX was now oriented toward the development of operational tactics and operational training and employment of units assigned.

    The 20th of July 1978 marked the beginning of the first major deployment of the newly reorganized squadron when Commander Destroyer Squadron THIRTY-SIX deployed as the surface force commander on the Navy's annual circumnavigation of South America (UNITAS XIX).  During the combined naval operations involving the major maritime nations of South America and the United States, invaluable training was gained enabling each country to develop its ability to conduct coastal operations and maintain freedom of the seas.

    After nearly a fourteen year absence, Destroyer Squadron THIRTY-SIX began the first of three successive winter deployments to the Mediterranean 7 September 1979.  Acting as the Anti-Submarine Warfare Commander (ASWC) for BATTLEFORCE SIXTH Fleet. Commander Destroyer Squadron THIRTY-SIX developed ASW tactics appropriate to the Mediterranean area and specifically for Battle Group Operations.

    Sandwiched between the latter two of these deployments, Commander Destroyer Squadron THIRTY-SIX was the Commander of Great Lakes Cruise 1981.   Showing the flag and Navy pride and professionalism in 18 ports over a three month period, the cruise was a landmark success and generated over 1500 Naval recruits in the Great Lakes region.

    From June to November 1985, Destroyer Squadron THIRTY-SIX again circumnavigated South America under the overall tactical command of USCOMSOLANT during UNITAS XXVI. 

    In June and July of 1986, Commander Destroyer Squadron THIRTY-SIX served as Officer in Tactical Command for MEF 3-86 Transit Group and entered the Persian Gulf for the first time.  From Mid-August to Mid-October 1986, the staff participated in Exercise Northern Wedding 86, acting as the CVBG ASWC under the overall tactical command of Commander Carrier Striking Force and Commander Striking Fleet, Atlantic.  During this period, the squadron planned and successfully executed new Fjord ASW tactics in Vestfjord that directly supported the Maritime Strategy.   January to July 1987 saw the squadron again in the role of CTF 60 Battle Force ASWC as part of the MED 1-87 Battle Group.  During the cruise, the Squadron also served as Officer in Tactical Command for Black Sea Operations and as surface screen commander during Lebanese contingency operations.  September to November 1987 saw the Squadron again enroute to and operating in the Persian Gulf with the MEF 4-87 Transit Group.

    Using the concept and plans developed in the operation, the Squadron conducted an intense MEF 2-88 workup concurrent with Fleet-Ex 1-88 in January 1988.  April, May, and June saw the Squadron acting as CVBG ASWC during Ocean Venture 88, conducting submarine PCO OPS in the Caribbean, and supervising Tailship Proficiency Training 6-88.  The Squadron departed on deployment 19 July 1988 for its third and final circumnavigation of South America (UNITAS XXIX).

    In 1989 Destroyer Squadron THIRTY-SIX deployed to the Mediterranean with the Coral Sea/America Battle Groups.

    In 1990 Destroyer Squadron THIRTY-SIX deployed to Red Sea for its first of four tours as Multinational Maritime Interception Operations (MMIO) Commander enforcing UN Sanctions against the Iraqi government in support of Operations Desert Shield and later on Desert Storm.

    In 1991, Destroyer Squadron THIRTY-SIX deployed to the Mediterranean and Red Sea for its second tour as MMIO Commander.

    In 1992, Destroyer Squadron THIRTY-SIX deployed with the Kennedy Battle Group to the Mediterranean and Red Sea for its third tour as the MMIO Commander.

    In July 1993, Destroyer Squadron THIRTY-SIX deployed for its final operation.  Commander Destroyer Squadron THIRTY-SIX was the last U.S. Naval MMIO Commander and as the Tomahawk missile Launch Area Coordinator (LAC) in the Red Sea.  At the completion of the Squadrons tour, the MMIO Commander duties were assumed by the US Coast Guard.

    In September 1994, Destroyer Squadron THIRTY-SIX went on standby duty for contingency operations in the Haitian Area of Operations, what later became Operation Support Democracy. 

    The Squadron was disestablished for the second time in March 1994.  It was the second time Destroyer Squadron THIRTY-SIX had been disestablished for the same purpose, an Atlantic Fleet reorganization.