USS Ouellet (FF-1077)
|Ordered:||22 July 1964|
|Builder:||Avondale Shipyard, Bridge City, Louisiana|
|Laid down:||15 January 1969|
|Launched:||17 January 1970|
|Acquired:||3 December 1970|
|Commissioned:||12 December 1970|
|Decommissioned:||6 August 1993|
|Struck:||11 January 1995|
|Fate:||Transferred to Thailand as Phuttaloetla Naphalai (F-462)|
|Class & type:||Knox-class frigate|
|Displacement:||3,232 tons (4,212 full load)|
|Length:||438 ft (134 m)|
|Beam:||46 ft 9 in (14.25 m)|
|Draught:||24 ft 9 in (7.54 m)|
|Propulsion:||2 × CE 1200psi boilers
1 Westinghouse geared turbine
1 shaft, 35,000 SHP (26 MW)
|Speed:||over 27 knots|
|Complement:||18 officers, 267 enlisted|
|AN/SPS-40 Air Search Radar
AN/SPS-67 Surface Search Radar
AN/SQR-18 Towed array sonar system
Mk68 Gun Fire Control System
|AN/SLQ-32 Electronics Warfare System|
|Armament:||one Mk-16 8 cell missile launcher for ASROC and Harpoon missiles
one Mk-42 5-inch/54 caliber gun
Mark 46 torpedoes from four single tube launchers)
one Mk-25 BPDMS launcher for Sea Sparrow missiles, later replaced by Phalanx CIWS
|Aircraft carried:||one SH-2 Seasprite (LAMPS I) helicopter|
'USS Ouellet (FF-1077) was a Knox-class frigate of the United States Navy. Ouellet was the first ship of the U.S. Navy to bear the name of Seaman David George Ouellet, a posthumous recipient of the Medal of Honor. It was one of a class of frigates specifically designated to locate and destroy enemy submarines. Ouellets keel was laid at Avondale Shipyard in Bridge City on 15 January 1969. She was christened at Charleston Naval Shipyard, South Carolina on 12 December 1970.
Ouellet arrived at her homeport in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 15 April 1971, with her first deployment to the Western Pacific commencing on 27 January 1972. Ouellet twice came under hostile fire during this deployment, however no casualties were sustained.
During ceremonies re-establishing the U.S. Third Fleet on 1 February 1973, USS Ouellet became the first Third Fleet flagship since World War II.
USS Ouellet made her second deployment to the Western Pacific from May through September 1973. She began her first regular overhaul on 14 September 1974, with completion on 3 June 1975. Ouellet was selected as the CINCPACFLT flagship for the U.S. Navy's 200th birthday ceremonies. Ouellet completed two more Western Pacific deployments prior to overhaul in late 1978. Regular overhaul was completed mid 1979 with three Western Pacific deployments to follow commencing September 1980, April 1982, and October 1983 respectively.
The USS Ouellet started the 1980s with a joint exercise called RIMPAC in Feb 1980. In March of that year she headed east to conduct training and deployment work ups with the USS Ranger and Battle Group Echo. In September she deployed with Battle Group 'E' to the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman for the Iranian Crisis. Christmas of that year was spent in Diego Garcia. Ouellet began her third major overhaul in February 1985. She received extensive upgrades to her gun mount, received CIWS, and SNAP II computers. In 1986 Ouellet was again preparing for a Western Pacific deployment. Ouellet deployed for her eighth time in April 1987. Ouellet deployed with fellow Pearl Harbor Ships USS Worden (CG-18) and USS Leftwich to join the USS Constellation CV-64 battle group known as "Battle Group Delta". Ouellet spent time in Subic Bay, Philippines before transiting the Straights of Malacca on the way to Diego Garcia, BIOT. When the USS Stark got hit by an Iraqi Exocet missile in May 1987, The Constellation and the battle group deployed to the North Arabian Sea, while the Ouellet went south to have port visits in St Denis, Reunion Island - which was a historic visit of sorts as no American Navy ship made a port call there in over 100 years - then off to Port Victoria, Seychelles. Ouellet then joined the rest of the battle group in the North Arabian sea in support of Operation Ernest Will. Ouellet was detached from Battle Group Delta and proceeded with the USS Cochrane (DDG-21) with port visits to Phuket, Thailand and Singapore. Ouellet then detached from the Cochrane and proceeded to Subic Bay, RPI where she had a 3 week stay before the battle group caught up and proceeded home with her. She returned to Pearl Harbor on 6 October 1987.
Ouellet started out 1988 with a special operation coordinated by the Coast Guard to capture the CHRISTINA M, a cargo vessel laden with over 12 tons of marijuana. Instead of regular overhaul, Ouellet spent most of 1988 in a Ship's Restricted Availability repairing and upgrading most of her systems. Following extensive training, Ouellet made her ninth deployment in mid December 1988,which she headed to Sea of Japan and the North Pacific Ocean. She returned on 26 May 1989 to turn around and prepare to get underway again in September 1989 for "Pacific Exercises 89" (PAC EX 89).
Upon return to Pearl Harbor in November 1989 she went into dry dock, refloating in February 1990. After extensive preparations and an exhaustive inspection cycle, Ouellet departed on August 1990 to Central America in support of law enforcement operations.
These operations, called "Legal OPS '90" for short, included amongst the crew, a detachment of Coast Guard personnel to act as a legal "policing force" aboard the Ouellet. This was the first time that a Coast Guard flag flew from a U.S. Navy warship in operations such as these. In search for drug smugglers, the Ouellet recovered close to 1 ton of pure, unprocessed cocaine, which was jettisoned from an unknown vessel trying to elude authorities. While on "Legal OPS '90", Ouellet transited through the Panama Canal with follow-on ports-of-call in Panama and Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles. After returning in to Pearl Harbor in November 1990 Ouellet was awarded the "Battle E" for overall excellence and the "Joint Meritorious Unit Citation" (JMUC).
In June 1991, Ouellet participated in three phases of shipboard training for midshipmen from the United States Naval Academy, and "Anti-Submarine Operations 91". Port calls made during this training period included visits to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and Kodiak Island, Alaska. Ouellet crewmembers took advantage of this "in-port" time to celebrate the United States' birthday on the "4th of July".
Ouellet's final deployment was from 25 March to 24 July 1992. This Western Pacific Rim journey was her 10th major deployment, and took the Ouellet to the Continent of Australia . While en route, she participated in "Pacific ASW Exercise 92", and operated with elements of the Australian Navy in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the "Battle of the Coral Sea".
This was her final voyage as a United States Navy vessel, after serving her country proudly for over 20 years. USS Ouellet was decommissioned on 3 August 1993.
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