USS KIDD (DDG-993)
 

Though the U.S. Navy rarely names new ships by the same name as an older vessel still afloat, USS KIDD (DD-661) was honored by having her name bestowed upon a modern guided-missile destroyer: USS KIDD (DDG-993). The first of a new class of DDGs built on the modified plans of the Spruance-class, the second KIDD was built at Ingalls Shipbuilding Division of Litton Industries in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Her keel was laid on June 26, 1978. Mrs. Angelique Kidd Smith, the granddaughter of RADM Isaac C. Kidd, Sr., served as the ship's sponsor during her launching on August 11, 1979. KIDD was placed into commission on June 27, 1981.

USS KIDD (DDG-993) Ship's Seal

 

The second ship to bear the name KIDD prepares to enter the fleet.

The second ship to bear the name KIDD

prepares to enter the fleet.

KIDD was one of four guided missile destroyers contracted for by Iran in the late 1970s. When Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi was forced into exile by revolutionary forces in January of 1979, the United States grew concerned that these four vessels could be delivered to a potentially hostile government. The return of Shi'ite Muslim leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini from exile in France and his seizure of power just one month later, confirmed American fears. The Khomeini regime promptly cancelled the contract with Ingalls and the new destroyers were purchased by the U.S. Navy and commissioned into the fleet. As the first of her class, DDG-993 gave her name to the new Kidd-class guided missile destroyers.

 

Following her shakedown cruise, KIDD deployed to the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean on December 08, 1982, under the command of Cdr. William J. Flanagan. While in the Mediterranean, KIDD visited the ports of Palma, Spain; Beirut, Lebanon; and Catania, Italy. She put in at the ports of Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, and Mombasa, Kenya, while on station in the Indian Ocean before returning to the Mediterranean and calling on Benidorm, Spain. The deployment ended with her return to Norfolk on June 02, 1983. In September of 1983, KIDD was awarded the Battle Efficiency "E".

 

On February 16, 1984, KIDD left Norfolk to participate in battle-readiness maneuvers as part of Operation United Effort. She returned home to Norfolk on April 29.

 

On March 12, 1985, KIDD once again got underway as part of READEX 1-85, Cdr. F.P. Moosally in command. She conducted Caribbean operations from March 28 to April 06, before anchoring at Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. Following a transit of the Atlantic Ocean, she passed through the Straits of Gibraltar on April 17. While in the Mediterranean, KIDD called on the ports of Taormina, Sicily, and Gaeta and Naples, Italy. She

USS KIDD (DDG-993) in the midst of sea trials.

USS KIDD (DDG-993) in the midst of sea trials.

passed through the Turkish Straits on May 30, 1985 and participated with the Sixth Fleet in operations in the Black Sea through June 03. KIDD cut short a port visit to Haifa, Israel, on June 16 in response to the hijacking of TWA Flight 847. She returned to Haifa on July 15 before visiting Alexandria, Egypt, and Constanta, Romania. Black Sea operations continued with the Sixth Fleet in August. KIDD called on Istanbul, Turkey, before returning to Naples, Italy. She conducted operations in the Western Mediterranean with NIMITZ (CVN-68) through September. Calling on Benidorm, Spain, she then passed through the Straits of Gibraltar again on September 20. After visiting Rota, Spain, KIDD crossed the Atlantic, arriving in Norfolk and ending her deployment on October 02, 1985.

 

KIDD deployed for the Northern Atlantic on two weeks notice as part of the NIMITZ Battle Group on August 17, 1986, filling in for a nuclear cruiser delayed by Hurricane Charlie. She served as Anti-Air Warfare Commander throughout the transit to Scotland, coordinating battle group response to Soviet reconnaissance flights as well as "exercise" adversaries. Once north of Scotland, KIDD detached from NIMITZ and continued north for "Silent Sam" operations as part of Operation Northern Wedding, crossing the Arctic Circle on August 28. During Northern Wedding, she provided early warning to the Battle Group of all aircraft over flying the Northern Cape, conducted simulated engagements against all "hostile" NATO exercise adversaries, and coordinated the air defense of a major amphibious landing exercise at Melangen fjord in northern Norway.

 

Moving to Vestfjord on September 03, lookouts aboard KIDD sighted the periscope of a Norwegian Ula-class submarine which had suffered a steering casualty and remained in company until relieved by a Norwegian relief vessel. She was then ordered to shadow IOWA (BB-61), which simulated a Soviet battle cruiser. IOWA attempted to shake KIDD with a precarious nighttime run of the fjords through narrow passages to no avail.

 

During amphibious landings at Larvik, Norway, KIDD simultaneously controlled flights of F-14 Tomcats, F-18 Hornets, and Marine Corps Harriers making intercepts on simulated "hostiles". She also conducted anti-submarine warfare exercises against Norwegian diesel submarines in concert with three Canadian frigates and provided fire support of the Marines on the beach along with IOWA. With the conclusion of the exercise, Amphibious Task Force Commander RADM Fogarty noted "If asked which cruiser I would like to have as our Anti-Air Warfare Commander, my answer would be USS KIDD!" KIDD was awarded the Battle Efficiency "E" for her excellent performance in Northern Wedding.

USS KIDD (DDG-993) on station in the fjords of Norway.

USS KIDD (DDG-993) on station in the fjords of

Norway during Operation Northern Wedding.

 

Sailors stand watch for mines on KIDD's bow as the destroyer trails the reflagged Kuwaiti tanker BRIDGETON during Operation Earnest Will.
Sailors stand watch for mines on KIDD's
bow as the destroyer trails the reflagged
Kuwaiti tanker BRIDGETON during
Operation Earnest Will.
Official USN photo by PH2 Tolliver.

Following Northern Wedding, KIDD called upon Oslo, Norway, on September 20, and Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on September 27. She returned to Naval Station Norfolk on October 17, 1986.

 

In early 1987, the United States agreed to "reflag" eleven Kuwaiti oil tankers, allowing them to sail as American vessels through the dangerous waters of the Persian Gulf.  The Iran-Iraq War was now entering its seventh year with both sides attacking merchant shipping in the so-called "Tanker War" since 1984.  KIDD departed Norfolk on June 19, 1987, and deployed as part of Middle East Force 3-87.  On July 22, 1987, the first escort mission of Operation Earnest Will departed Khor Fakkan in the Gulf of Oman bound for Kuwait. The KIDD joined FOX (CG-33) and CROMMELIN (FFG-37) in escorting the tankers BRIDGETON and GAS PRINCE (formerly AL REKKAH and GAS AL MINAGISH respectively).  On the morning of July 24 while passing just west of Farsi Island, BRIDGETON struck an Iranian mine, damaging but not incapacitating the vessel.  She continued onward under her own power with the thinner-skinned naval escorts following in her wake to avoid further mine hits.  On August 01, KIDD and CROMMELIN escorted a fully loaded GAS PRINCE from Kuwait and out of the Gulf without incident.

 

On August 08, 1987, the third one-way convoy of Earnest Will began its transit of the Strait of Hormuz northward into the Persian Gulf under the targeting systems of shore-based Iranian Silkworm missile launchers.  The KIDD, CROMMELIN, and JARRETT (FFG-33)—accompanied briefly through the Strait by VALLEY FORGE (CG-50)—protected the tankers SEA ISLE CITY (formerly UMM AL MARADEX), OCEAN CITY, and GAS KING on USS CONSTELLATION (CV-64) took two Iranian F-4 Phantom jet fighters under fire when they aggressively approached a PC-3 Orion that was flying overhead surveillance ahead of the ships.  The remainder of the voyage was without incident.

 

While the convoys of Operation Earnest Will continued, U.S. Special Forces Command undertook Operation Prime Chance in secret, flying missions over the Gulf in an attempt to halt the laying of mines.  On the night of September 21, one MH-6 and two AH-6 Little Bird U.S. Army helicopters flying off of JARRETT attacked the Iranian vessel IRAN AJR, an amphibious landing ship converted into a minelayer, as she conducted minelaying operations in international waters.  A Navy SEAL team boarded and secured the ship as KIDD, LASALLE (LPD-3), REEVES (DLG-24), FLATLEY (FFG-21), WILLIAM H. STANDLEY (CG-32), and GUADALCANAL (LPH-7) converged on the scene.  Following a full exploitation of all intelligence assets found aboard, KIDD was assigned on September 25 along with three MK III patrol boats to escort USS HAWES (FFG-23) as she towed IRAN AJR to a location off of Qatar where the Iranian vessel was scuttled.

  

On October 17, 1987, the re-flagged tanker SEA ISLE CITY was struck while in port at the Kuwaiti oil port of Mina by an Iranian Silkworm missile fired from the occupied Faw Peninsula about 50 miles away, injuring 18 crewmen.  The United States launched a proportional retaliatory response codenamed Operation Nimble Archer.  On October 19, Surface Action Group Alfa—comprised of KIDD, HOEL (DDG-13), LEFTWHICH (DD-984), and JOHN YOUNG (DD-973)—approached the Rashadat complex of oil platforms.  Iran had armed these platforms and used them as a radar station and resupply base for small raiding craft.  The platforms were located in international waters.  After broadcasting a warning to personnel aboard the platforms and allowing time for evacuation, the ships took the platforms under fire with their main battery 5-inch guns.  One platform was set ablaze. A SEAL team from USS

An Iranian oil platform burns following shelling from KIDD and her sisterships during Operation Nimble Archer.
An Iranian oil platform burns following shelling
from KIDD and her sisterships during
Operation Nimble Archer.
Official U.S. Navy photo by PH3 Henry Cleveland.

THATCH (FFG-43) used explosives to bring down the second platform.  The team then boarded the third Rashadat platform, removing all assets that might be of intelligence value and destroying what could not be taken.  With the completion of the operation, KIDD withdrew through the Strait of Hormuz to the Gulf of Oman with her sistersips.

 

While in the Persian Gulf, KIDD had been awarded her third Battle Efficiency "E" in September, 1987.  Following the completion of Nimble Archer, the 993 returned to port on December 04 of that same year.

  

DDG-993 refueling at sea following a year-long overhaul.

DDG-993 refueling at sea following

a year-long overhaul.

On August 15, 1988, KIDD began a year-long overhaul at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyards. Completing her refit and overhaul, she then proceeded to Norfolk for weapons load-out. She then sailed for the waters off of Puerto Rico to conduct refresher training for her crew and Combat Systems Ship Qualification Trials (CCSQT). Following completion of her post-overhaul shakedown, KIDD made port visits to Mayport Naval Station in Florida; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Boston, Massachusetts; and Boothbay, Maine. KIDD was awarded her fourth Battle Efficiency "E" in December, 1989. Upon her return to Norfolk, a change of command took place on July 13, 1990, with Cdr. David R. Ellison relieving Cdr. Phillip M. Balisle as Commanding Officer.

 

In August, 1990, hostilities erupted in the Middle East as Iraq invaded and conquered neighboring Kuwait. The United Nations immediately placed economic sanctions and a trade embargo on Iraq, threatening military action should Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein not pull out of Kuwait. Saudi Arabia—which bordered Kuwait on the south—requested assistance against the threat of a military incursion. A massive build-up of military forces by U.N. members began, code-named Desert Shield.

 

On January 09, 1991, in the final days prior to the United Nations deadline for Hussein to pull out of Kuwait, KIDD departed Norfolk, bound for the Persian Gulf along with USS McINERNEY(FFG-8). On January 16, less than twenty-four hours after the deadline had passed, forces under the command of Supreme Allied Commander Norman Schwartzkoff began an aerial bombardment of Iraqi forces, not only in Kuwait, but also in Baghdad. War had begun, code-named Desert Storm. After making a brief landfall in the Azores, KIDD continued onward into the Mediterranean. She arrived at Port Said on January 31 and began her southern transit of the Suez Canal.

 

KIDD faced several roles while operating in the Gulf, among them the location and destruction of mines and maritime interdiction force (MIF) operations. To assist in these duties, a detachment from Anti-Submarine Light Helicopter Squadron 34 (HSL-34) was embarked. The "Green Checkers" came aboard with two SH-2 helicopters which were used early on in SSSC missions—flying out beyond the visual horizon of the ship to reconnoiter all surface radar contacts. In early April, two U.S. Army OH-58 AHIPS helos were embarked, bringing the total to four aircraft embarked aboard KIDD at one time. Not only were the helicopters used in scouting surface contacts, but they also played

Two Army OH-58 AHIPS helicopters on KIDD's flight deck during Desert Storm.

Two Army OH-58 AHIPS helicopters on KIDD's

flight deck during Desert Storm.

a major role in the location and destruction of floating mines which the Iraqis had sown through the Gulf. By the end of her deployment, KIDD was credited with fifteen mine kills

 

DDG-993 arrives home in Norfolk with a not-so-subtle paint scheme.

DDG-993 arrives home in Norfolk with a

not-so-subtle paint scheme in the form of a

U.S. flag on the superstructure.

In early June, KIDD was ordered back to Norfolk. Along the way, she participated in several MIF operations in the Red Sea in support of the United Nations embargo against Iraq. HSL-34 provided aerial cover for the destroyer's Visit-Boarding-Search-Seizure (VBSS) team whenever investigating intercepted, suspect merchant vessels. KIDD entered Port Suez for the northern-bound journey up the Canal on June 17.

 

During the trip home, the crew began work painting an American flag on the ship's forward superstructure. KIDD made landfall at Norfolk on July 03, 1991, ending her deployment in Operation Desert Storm. In December of 1991, she was awarded the Battle Efficiency "E" for excellence during Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

 

KIDD departed from Norfolk in for the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific late in October of 1992, to participate in counter narcotics operations off the South American coast. She transited the Panama Canal on November 08. During this deployment, she patrolled Latin American waters as a deterrent to smugglers. A detachment from Anti-Submarine Light Helicopter Squadron 34 (HSL-34) was embarked for this cruise and "Green Checker 232" reconnoitered all unknown surface radar contacts, flying cover for the Visit-Boarding-Search-Seizure (VBSS) team whenever a suspect vessel was intercepted. KIDD called upon Panama City, Panama, and Acapulco, Mexico, before returning to the Caribbean via the Canal. After a brief port visit to Charlotte Amalie Harbor on the island of St. Thomas, she returned to her homeport of Norfolk, Virginia.

 

At the end of this cruise, KIDD was awarded her sixth Battle Efficiency "E" in December of 1992. This was the destroyer's fifth consecutive such award; a first among ships of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. Attending the ceremony was retired Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, Jr.—son of RADM Kidd, Sr. after whom the destroyer took her name—who presented the crew with the Gold Meatball Pennant which signified five consecutive Battle "E" awards.

 

Late in 1994, KIDD was assigned to Carrier Task Force 60 (CTF-60) forming around USS EISENHOWER (CVN-69). Departing Norfolk on October 20, KIDD and the other vessels of CTF-60 headed south for a port visit at St. Croix prior to participating in fleet exercises. Crossing the Atlantic, the task force arrived on station in the Adriatic Sea where they remained for sixty-nine days. During this time, the task force provided support of the naval embargo of the war-torn republics of the former Yugoslavia (Operation Sharpguard), the enforced no-fly zone over the area (Operation Deny Flight), and the air drop of humanitarian aid to the residents of the city of Sarajevo (Operation Provide Promise). During this time, KIDD called upon Corfu and Naples, Italy; Rhodes, Greece; Trieste, Italy; Haifa, Israel; and Antalya and Izmir, Turkey. CTF-60 also participated in exercises with the Sixth Fleet off the coast of Israel and Egypt. With the arrival of USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN-71) and her accompanying task force, the EISENHOWER battle group departed the Mediterranean for Norfolk, ending their deployment.

 

KIDD returned to the Caribbean on counter narcotics patrol in 1996, under the command of Cdr. John J. Decavage, who had taken command in September of the previous year. During this deployment, the crew painted a pirate on the ship's aft mack (combined mast/stack) in homage to their predecessor of the same name: USS KIDD (DD-661). The ship finished up her cruise with a port visit to New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the Mardi Gras celebrations, arriving on February

A harbor tug comes out to meet USS KIDD (DDG-993) as she enters port.

A harbor tug comes out to meet USS KIDD (DDG-993) as she

returns to port from a lengthy cruise.

05, 1997, in company with USS SHREVEPORT (LPD-12). While in New Orleans, over forty-five of her off-duty crew journeyed upriver to Baton Rouge to visit DD-661 and participate in a work detail, assisting in the elder destroyer's upkeep and restoration. Upon departing New Orleans, KIDD returned home to Norfolk.

 

Following inspections, DDG-993 was awarded her second consecutive CNO Safety Award, as well as the Engineering Battle "E", and the CIC Battle "E". She set sail on April 16, 1997, for a three-day port visit to Boston, Massachusetts, to coincide with the 100th running of the Boston Marathon. From there, she moved southward to Port Au Prince, Haiti for a community relations project before assuming drug

 

USS KIDD (DDG-993) seen pierside now flying the flag of the Republic of China (Taiwan) as ROC TZUO-YING (DDG-1803).

USS KIDD (DDG-993)—now ROC TZUO-YING

(DDG-1803)—is seen pierside at Suao Naval Base

in Taiwan in November of 2006.  Sistership USS

CHANDLER (DDG-996)—now ROC MA-KONG

(DDG-1805) is tied up outboard of KIDD.

Photo courtesy of NavSource.

Photo contributed to NavSource by John Donnelly.

 

interdiction duties in the Carribean. She transitted the Panama Canal to the Eastern Pacific on April 30. Following another transit of the Canal and a brief stop in Charleston, South Carolina, KIDD ended her deployment in Norfolk on June 10, 1997. A change of command took place on August 08, 1997, with Cdr. Thomas Andress coming aboard as the new CO.

 

USS KIDD (DDG-993) was decommissioned on March 12, 1998, and placed into the Reserve Fleet at Norfolk Naval Station.  She was sold to the Republic of China (Taiwan) in 2004 and was commissioned into the Taiwanese Navy on November 03, 2006, as ROC TZUO-YING (DDG-1803) Suao Naval Base in northeastern Taiwan.  She remains active with the Taiwanese Navy.

 

Ship's Statistics

 

Class

Kidd

Keel Laid

June 26, 1978

Launched

August 11, 1979

Commissioned

June 27, 1981

Decommissioned

March 12, 1998

Displacement

9,900 tons (full load)

Length

563 ft.

Beam (width)

55 ft.

Draft (depth)

23 ft. (keel)

33 ft. (navigational)

Speed

33 knots

Propulsion

Four General Electric LM-2500 gas turbines (80,000 hp total)

Crew

31 officers, 332 enlisted

Armament

Eight Harpoon surface-to-surface missiles (2 quad launchers)

SM-2 Standard surface-to-air missiles

ASROC (Anti-Submarine Rocket) torpedoes

Six Mk-46 torpedoes (2 triple tube mounts)

Two 5"/54-cal. gun mounts

Two 20mm Phalanx CIWS (Close-In Weapons System)

One SRBOC (Super Rapid-Blooming Off-board Chaff) system

Aircraft

One SH-2F Seasprite LAMPS helicopter (Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System)

 


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