COMDESRON FOURTEEN


History

Constitution PaintingDestroyer Squadron 14's history can be traced back to November 1920, when it began as a reserve organization in Philadelphia, PA. The squadron's last Commodore before being disestablished in 1931 was the future Fleet Admiral William F. ("Bull") Halsey.

Early in World War II, Destroyer Squadron 14 was reestablished as a unit in the Pacific Fleet and performed duty in the Aleutian Area. During the "Battle of Komondarskie" when confronted by a Japanese force of eleven ships, three destroyers of DESRON 14 daringly attacked the enemy to cover the withdrawal of other U. S. units. Destroyer Squadron 14 units also participated in the Gilbert, Marshall Island and Borneo operations. The Squadron was decommissioned at the end of World War II and was recommissioned in October 1946 and homeported in Newport, Rhode Island.

In June 1959, the Squadron's homeport was changed to Mayport, Florida, becoming the first Destroyer Squadron ever homported there. In January 1969, Destroyer Squadron 14 deployed to the Eastern Pacific for duty with the Seventh Fleet and saw action off the coast of Vietnam.

During mid to late 1970's Destroyer Squadron 14 participated in various Fleet exercises, and deployed to South America as part of UNITAS XVII. On 4 April 1978, the Squadron's mission was re-defined to include only operational duties as DESRON 14 became an Atlantic Fleet tactical DESRON. Between 1978 and 1985, COMDESRON 14 continued extensive sea-going operations including Mediterranean deployments in 1979, 1982 and a South American UNITAS deployment in 1983. In October 1985, the Squadron participated in BALTOPS 85 operations, which marked the first time that a battleship and AEGIS cruiser participated in this multi-national exercise. In June 1986, the Squadron departed for Indian Ocean 2-86 deployment. Although originally scheduled for Indian Ocean operations, the battle group remained in the Central and Eastern Mediterranean.

COMDESRON 14 assumed duties as transit commander for Middle East Forces (MEF) in 1987 and became the first destroyer squadron assigned to Commander Middle East Force with the purpose of being the Escort Group Commander for "EARNEST WILL" transit operations of newly reflagged Kuwaiti tankers. DESRON 14 was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation as a result of this pioneering effort under combat conditions.

The next deployment followed from 25 April to 25 October 1988 afforded the opportunity to operate in both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, and the Mediterranean and the Baltic Seas. From 5 December 1988 to 8 January 1989, COMDESRON 14 assumed duties as Transit Commander for MEF 1-89, transiting from Charleston, S.C. to Bahrain in the Persian Gulf.

COMDESRON 14 served again as Transit Commander for MEF 2-89 from 22 March to 11 April 1989 and then deployed once again to South America, participating in UNITAS 30-89.

In the 1990's, COMDESRON 14 conducted numerous training exercises for units about to deploy to the Middle East passing on the many lessons learned in the Middle East Force/Central Command Theater of Operations. In September of 1990, COMDESRON 14 was ordered to advance its deployment by five months to the Central Command area in support of Operation Desert Shield. During combat operations as part of Battle Force Yankee, the squadron served as the Red Sea Surface Action Group (SAG) Commander and Maritime Interdiction Force Commander. In 1992, COMDESRON 14 was again awarded the Navy Unit Commendation for its participation in Operation Desert Storm.

Since the end of Desert Storm, COMDESRON 14 has deployed to the Mediterranean twice and once to Red Sea once. In 1994, COMDESRON 14 served as commander of BALTIC OPERATIONS 1994, a multi-national exercise involving 22 ships from 15 nations. COMDESRON 14 deployed to the Mediterranean as part of the USS AMERICA (CV-66) Battlegroup in August 1995 where its ships participated in strikes against Serbian held areas in Bosnia and coordinated naval preparations for the deployment of NATO forces there in December 1995. COMDESRON 14 was subsequently awarded a Meritorious Unit Commendation and the NATO Medal for the Bosnia operations.

In September 1995, the U.S. Atlantic Fleet reorganized and COMDESRON 14 became the Immediate Superior in Command (ISIC) for USS CARNEY (DDG-64), USS JOHN RODGERS (DD-983), USS O'BANNON (DD-987) and USS UNDERWOOD (FFG-36).

On September 1, 1998 COMDESRON 14 once again reorganized as a Tactical Destroyer Squadron (TACDESRON). Relinqueshing her duties as an ISIC in order to concentrate on tactical proficiency and warfighting. From October of 1998 to July 1999, COMDESRON 14 validated the TACDESRON concept with several exercises, literally around the world. The first was a short notice "fly-away" deployment to the Black Sea where they provided the leadership, warfighting skills and quick response to conduct Exercise Sea Breeze 98 which involved eleven nations and twenty-seven ships. Since then, COMDESRON 14 has served as the Atlantic Fleet's Opposition Force Commander in Joint Task Force Exercises, provided for the pre-deployment training of seven independent deploying warships, and became the Fleet's experts in Net-Centric ASW in ASWEX '99 for Commander Second Fleet and Third Fleet's Battle Experiment "Echo".

On August 1, 1999, COMDESRON 14 became the Immediate Superior in Command (ISIC) for eight Mayport warships.

In September and October of 2000, the DESRON deployed again to South America for Unitas 41-00. In 2001, COMDESRON 14 will conduct several independent deployment training exercises and lead U.S. force during the Atlantic Phase of Unitas 42-01. COMDESRON 14 is always standing by, 'ready to assist.' Their involvement has significantly contributed to future warfighting into the next century.

Beginning July 2004, CDS 14's mission expanded to include overseeing the Training and Readiness for 10 ships homeported in Mayport FL and 3 ships homeported in Pascagoula MS.

Upon completion of Post-Deployment Maintenance periods and Unit Level Training, CDS 14 provides surge ready assets to conduct independent and ESG/CSG deployments to SECONDFLT, THIRDFLT, FIFTHFLT and SIXTHFLT areas of responsibility in support of global naval presence, counter drug operations, and homeland defense.

As an Immediate Superior in Command (ISIC) of 15 warships, CDS 14 oversees the tactical proficiency, administrative support, and material readiness of these ships in order to ensure they are ready to deploy to the Mediterranean Sea, Caribbean, Persian Gulf, and other oceans of the world.

In addition to serving as ISIC for these 15 ships, CDS 14  serves as USFLTFORCOM Coordinating Authority for Anti-Terrorism and Force Protection.