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Letters to the Editor

October 2003


Musical Barracks
The picture on p. 19 of the spring Scene — the Barracks — is indeed a picture of a former BOO, but it did not house students; it was the home of the music department. The lower floor, made up of small rooms, served as practice rooms; the upper floor had two large rooms—one used for band practice (I was in the band) and the other for Glee Club (I can’t carry a tune, so I never used that area).

The barracks that housed students were behind Lewis Hall (one set) and then below, just to the west of the football field, were perhaps 10 or 12 structures that housed single men. Adjacent, and jutting out toward Gaines Street, were the “married barracks,” made up of small apartments for married students.

Probably someone already has mentioned all of this, but there aren’t many of us around from those days so maybe this is news.

Keep up the good work!

Tom Mulligan ’53
Lenexa, Kans.


Embarking on a Mission
Listed below is facts and figures from my deployment. When it is all said and done I will write a more specific memo summarizing the many experiences in the Middle East prior to IRAQI Freedom.
Steven J. McCauley, LTJG
United States Navy

USS LABOON Mediterranean/Middle East
2002 Deployment Highlights:

General
OPTEMPO:
Fifth Fleet: 77 of 85 days (90.5%) underway.
Sixth Fleet: 51of 84days (60.4%) underway
Combined: 148 out of 184 days (80.4%) of deployment were underway.

Operations and Exercises:
Operation Enduring Freedom
Operation Southern Watch
Maritime Interdiction Operations ("Raised the bar")
Exercise Eagle Salute (OCE/OTC)
Exercise Pioneer IV (OTC/ASWC)

Port Visits:
04-08 JUL Split, Croatia
11-14 JUL Aksaz, Turkey
16-20 JUL Souda Bay, Crete
17-20 SEP Mina Salman, Bahrain
05-08 OCT Port Victoria, Seychelles
19-23 OCT Souda Bay, Crete
17-20 NOV Toulon, France
22-26 NOV Koper, Slovenia

Navies Operated Alongside:
Germany United Kingdom
Turkey Netherlands
Spain Greece
Italy Australia
France Japan
Canadian Egypt

Command Awards:
Q3 FY-02 CINCLANTFLT Retention Honor Roll
Retention Pennant
Gold SWO Pennant
Silver ESWS Pennant

Engineering
Fuel Figures:
F-76 Received 3,978,400
F-76 Used 3,854,351
JP-5 Received 5,592
JP-5 Used 4,478

Water Figures:
Produced 2,158,264
Used 2,167,976

Navigation
Strait Transits:
Straits of Gibraltar (STROG) 2
Strait of Messina 1
Suez Canal 2
Bab El Mandeb Strait 2
Strait of Hormuz 2
9 (Total)
Miles Traveled: 44,583

Operations
Mediterranean Moorings: 2
Sea & Anchor Details: 58
UNREPs Conducted: 42 (US, German, British and Japanese Oilers)
Helo Bounces: 108
Maritime Interdiction Operations Boardings: 44

Personnel
Advancements
Advancements last cycle 47.6%
CPO Selectees 5
E-4 Advancement Rate 75.9%
E-5 Advancement Rate 37.5%
E-6 Advancement Rate 35.0%

Qualifications (projected to end of deployment)
Command Qualification 1
Surface Warfare Officer 9
Officer of the Deck (Underway) 9
CIC Watch Officer 10
Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialists 80
Engineering Officer of the Watch 13
Combat Systems Officer of the Watch 12
Small Arms Weapons (9MM, M14,M60) 587

Reenlistments and Retention
Reenlistments 35
Reenlistment Rate 87.3%
First Term Reenlistment Rate 66%
SRBs 31
SRB Amount $621,253.43

Pace Courses
3 Terms, 10 Courses (Math, English, Government, and Political Science)
79 Enrolled
68 Received College Credit

Supply
Food
Cost of Food Consumed $270,425.18
Coffee Served 664 lbs
Milk Served 1634 Gallons
Cereal Served 9432 Boxes
Fresh Eggs Served 2,345 DZ
Rice Served 1,657 lbs
Hamburgers Served 2,605 lbs
Chicken Served 7,401 lbs
Steak Served 1,992 lbs
Crab Legs Served 220 lbs
Lobster Served 85 lbs

Postal Services
Total Weight of Mail Received 21,000 lbs
Total Weight of Cargo Received 10,000 lbs
Mail Received during Flight Quarters 6,000 lbs
Avg Time for Delivery of 1st Class Mail 10-15 days
Avg Time for Delivery of 4th Class Mail 30 days

Services
Haircuts 2,160
Laundry 184,896 lbs
Ship's Store Sales $140,048.75
Soda Sales $29,133.90
Number of Sodas Sold 58,267 cans
Pressed Khakis (Officer/CPO each) 2,400 sets
Supplies Received via VERTREP: 1,200 lbs

Deployment Summary
USS LABOON (DDG 58) is concluding a very successful six-month Mediterranean/Middle East Deployment on 20 December 2002. While representing the George Washington Battle Group in two AORs, LABOON operated under the tactical control of German, Canadian and Australian Task Force Commanders and in doing so, represented the United States with exceptional competence and dignity.

LABOON chopped into the Sixth Fleet on June 30th alongside the USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73), USS NORMANDY (CG 60), USS MONTEREY (CG 61), USS MAHAN (DDG 72) and USNS SUPPLY (AOE 6). Prior to INCHOP into the Fifth Fleet, LABOON conducted several port visits in the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas. On the 22nd of July, LABOON transited the Suez Canal en route Safaga, Egypt for Exercise Eagle Salute.

EAGLE SALUTE 2002 was a bi-lateral exercise with the Egyptian Red Sea Naval Fleet. The goal of Eagle Salute was two-fold. It allowed the Egyptian Sailors to become familiar with current American Naval tactics as well as providing an opportunity to strengthen our relationship with Egypt, a vital stabilizing force in the Middle East and an Ally in the US War Against Terrorism. The first day of the exercise consisted of LABOON sailors providing tactical seminars on VBSS, SAR, Air Defense and Electronic Warfare. The final two days of Eagle Salute were underway seamanship and warfare demonstrations between LABOON and two Egyptian ships, a frigate and a minesweeper. This exercise provided an excellent opportunity to conduct seamanship maneuvers, firing exercises, and ASW tracking events alongside our African counterparts.

Upon completion of Eagle Salute, LABOON transited the Red Sea enroute the Gulf of Oman for integration into Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). On station for only 30 minutes, the ship was directed to support National Tasking in the Arabian Sea. On August 9th, LABOON became the first Carrier Battle Group ship to conduct operations in the Horn of Africa/Gulf of Aden region as a part of the German Task Force in support of OEF. The ship remained on station in the Gulf of Aden for 58 days prior to a brief port visit in Bahrain. Following the port visit, LABOON executed duties as Comiskey Guardship in the North Arabian Gulf, including 44 boardings in support of Maritime Interdiction Operations. The Australian MIO Commander expressed his pleasure with LABOON's performance upon departure by challenging the ships remaining on station to meet the challenge of LABOON's standard as we had "raised the bar." Following departure from the Arabian Gulf, King Neptune paid a visit to the ship!
while transiting to Port Victoria, Seychelles.

On October 15th, the ship transited the Suez Canal en route to the Mediterranean Sea and the Sixth Fleet for a reunion with GWBG. As a part of Sixth Fleet, LABOON conducted Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Operations in the Eastern Mediterranean, a multi-national ASW Exercise (PIONEER IV), and a Change of Command in Toulon, France.

PIONEER IV was an ASW exercise between Germany and the United States. As OTC and ASWC for the exercise, LABOON participated alongside two submarines, USS SAN JUAN and German FGS U17, and five Maritime Patrol Aircraft from the United States. PIONEER IV is a Tactical Development Exercise designed to develop interoperability between the navies of Germany and the United States. PIONEER IV focused on a Coordinated ASW force search for a transiting/patrolling SSK with the main emphasis on the tactical use of EERs and ACOMMS to detect and localize the target. The exercise was conducted in the western Mediterranean Sea between the Balearic Islands and the coast of France. The results of the exercise were very positive and provided the framework for the new era of the command and control architecture in an ASW environment.

As a part of the Fifth and Sixth Fleets, LABOON operated with navies from 12 countries. During this time, the ship completed numerous ASW, SUW, and AAW exercises. Through this coalition building, the contribution of LABOON and the rest GWBG will be felt for years to come. The interoperability of command and control systems and the sharing of intelligence will only lead to a stronger coalition bound together to win the War on Terrorism.

As ambassadors of the United States, the crew of LABOON continually maintained and exhibited the highest of standards. Whether conducting an UNREP alongside a Japanese oiler or participating in COMREL projects in Crete and France, the crew maintained dignity throughout and in the process, never missed a beat. Through solid planning and total commitment to readiness, LABOON has executed smartly across the spectrum of Surface Warfare during the GEORGE WASHINGTON BATTLE GROUP 2002 Mediterranean/Middle East Deployment.

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