From: Steve Rodgers
Sent: September 29, 1999
At your web site you have the following paragraph:
During the 1987-88 Persian Gulf escort missions, active and reserve MSO's [USS Enhance (MSO-437), USS Excel (MSO-439), and USS Esteem (MSO-438), not the USS Fearless as previously reported in error] were deployed as the last three MSO's in the Persian Gulf in support of Operation EARNEST WILL (the escort of the reflagged Kuwaiti oil tankers). Both ships and crews performed extremely well in very demanding conditions, clearing hundreds of mines from the international waterway.
There were 6 MSO deployed to the Gulf during "Earnest Will" Three West Coast and Three East cost MSOs. The West Coast : USS Enhance (MSO-437), USS Conquest (MSO-488), and USS Esteem (MSO-438). The East Coast USS Inflict (MSO-456), USS Fearless (MSO-442), and USS Illusive (MSO-448)
I served on USS Inflict during this period. The East Coast sweeps had three crews assigned to each ship. Blue, Gold, and Silver. The Blue crew was the original crew when the ships first deployed '87. They were towed and steamed some for the transit. I was assigned to Silver Crew Inflict. Inflict was homported in Little Creek Va and USS Fortify (MSO-446) crew was the Gold Crew, USS Adroit (MSO-509) were the Silver Crew. USS Leader, Exultant, Impervious, and Engage were the Gold and Silver Crews for Fearless and Illusive. Can not remeber how they were paired up. The three MSO crews in Little Creek were assigned to USS Inflict, Illusive and Fearless had crews from Charleston S.C.(Leader crew) and Mayport Fla. (Engage, Impervious, Exultant) The only two East Coast boats not involved were Affray and Exploit stationed up in Newport R.I. We did 4 month rotations to the Gulf stationed ship and 8 months in the states. You up and rotated to a different hull every 4 months.
The West Coast guys did things different. They rotated 25% of the crew each month so after 4 months you had a different crew.
The modernization provided improvements in mine detection, SQQ-14 sonar with
mine classification as well as detection capability provided, engines, [four
Waukesha Motors Co. diesel........
In the above paragraph the Link to the SQQ-14 sonar takes you to CSS's web page about the AN/AQS-14 Helicopter Sonar. This is still used by the HM Squadrons. The MSO's had the AN/SQQ-14 sonar made by General Electric. I know this because that was my job on MSOs as a Sonarman (STG) and still have the Job Code (NEC) for the "Sqeaky 14" as it was called.
Hope this info helps.
- MNC(SW) Steve Rodgers
Former Ironman on a Wooden Ship. Now days it just does not sound right
"Ironmen on Fiberglass Ships" :)