Destroyer Squadron NINE was first formed in 1920. Homeported in Charleston, South Carolina, the Squadron consisted of 18 World War I "Four Pipers". In July 1921 the Squadron moved to Newport, Rhode Island where it operated until it was disestablished in May 1930.
Destroyer Squadron NINE was reestablished in 1937 in the Pacific Fleet. In November 1942 the Squadron was homeported in Recife, Brazil where the Commodore was also assigned Station Commander. Destroyer Squadron NINE's mission was submarine hunting and patrol and escort duty, occasionally interspersed with brief flurries of action against German U-Boats. The squadron continued operations out of Recife until August 1944, at which time the Squadron was dissolved for a second time and its ships reassigned.
Shortly after the close of World War II, a major Navy reorganization resulted in Destroyer Squadron NINE being reestablished. The Squadron was made up of battle veterans of the Pacific Campaign and was homeported in San Diego, California, in 1946. Deployments to the Western Pacific, alternating with First Fleet training and overhaul, became the routine for Destroyer Squadron NINE ships.
With the outbreak of hostilities in Korea, the squadron found itself actively involved in operations in the seas off Korea. The years following Korea were years of uneasy peace. Requirements for destroyer in the Western Pacific led to yet another change in homeport for Destroyer Squadron NINE. In 1961 the Squadron was forward deployed to Yokuska, Japan for eight years and subsequently alternated between Long Beach, California and Yokuska at two year intervals. With the involvement of U.S. Forces in Southeast Asia, Destroyer Squadron NINE once again became involved in wartime operations. During that period Destroyer Squadron NINE became the first squadron to be awarded the Navy Unit Commendation for service in the Vietnam Conflict.
From 1975 through 1983 Destroyer Squadron NINE was tasked with Pacific Fleet Introduction of SPRUANCE Class (DD-963) Destroyers, OLIVER HAZARD PERRY Class (FFG-7) Guided Missile Frigates, Class (PHM-1) Missile Hydrofoil Combatants and various CNO projects. The Secretary of the Navy awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation to Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE for the period 1 July 1976 to 31 May 1978 for these accomplishments.
From 1983 to 1986 Destroyer NINE evolved to an operational, deploying squadron. Squadron composition consisted of various Destroyers, Guided Missile Destroyers, Frigates and Guided Missile Frigates. In 1986 Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE deployed to the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean and the Northern Pacific with the USS CARL VINSON (CVN-70)/Battle Group CHARLIE as the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Commander, and was again awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation.
In January 1988 Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE deployed to the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean embarked in the USS ENTERPRISE (CVN-65) with Battle Group FOXTROT as the ASW Commander and was awarded her third Meritorious Unit Commendation. During this deployment Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE was a key participant in Operation Praying Mantis--combat operations conducted on 18 April 1988 in retaliation for mine damage sustained by the USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS (FFG-12). Destroyer Squadron NINE was awarded the Joint Meritorious Unit Award for her actions in that operation. Following the deployment, the Squadron shifted homeport to Long Beach, California.
In 1989 Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE participated in the Portland Rose Festival and the Third Fleet Battle Force Pacific Exercise '89 as the ASW Commander onboard the USS CARL VINSON (CVN-70). In February 1990 Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE embarked in USS CARL VINSON (CVN-70) and deployed to the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean with Battle Group CHARLIE as the ASW Commander and was awarded the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and a Letter of Commendation from the Secretary of the Navy.
Upon return from deployment, Destroyer Squadron NINE was reassigned as one of the three Pacific Fleet Readiness Destroyer Squadrons. Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE's mission was changed to provide oversight for the ships of the Squadron in achieving and maintaining the highest levels of material, operational and personnel readiness for the conduct of sustained Naval Operations.
In June 1991 Commander Destroyer Squadron NINE deployed to the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean with USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN-72)/Battle Group FOXTROT supporting Operation "Earnest Will" and Operation "Desert Storm" as the ASW Commander and Space and Electronic Warfare Commander. Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE was awarded the Southwest Asia Service Medal for her participation in Operation "Desert Storm". During this deployment Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE participated in Joint Task Force FIERY VIGIL, the largest peacetime evacuation of civilians in recent history. From 10 June to 28 June 1991 Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE joined with the U.S. Air Force to evacuate over 20,000 military dependants from Subic Bay Naval Base and Clark Air Force Base in the Republic of the Philippines after the disastrous eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE embarked in USS BRISTOL COUNTY (LST-1198) as the on-scene coordinator for the debarkation of evacuees at Cebu City. For this action Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE was awarded her second Joint Meritorious Unit Award.
In January 1992 Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE assumed Operational Commander control of six ships while their Immediate Superior in Command, Commander Surface Squadron ONE was deployed. In August 1992 Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE assumed responsibility for Ex-USS BREWTON and Ex-USS ROBERT E. PEARY during their transfer to Taiwan under the Foreign Military Lease program. The Fleet Introduction Team, assigned to Destroyer Squadron NINE, assisted and trained the Taiwan Navy to operate these former KNOX-class Frigates. In August 1993 Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE assumed responsibility for the Ex-USS KNOX during her transfer to Taiwan under the Foreign Military Lease program.
On 01 September 1994 Destroyer Squadron NINE shifted homeport from Long Beach, California to Everett, Washington.
On 01 September 1997 Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE embarked in USS NIMITZ (CVN-68) and deployed to the Arabian Gulf. Upon arrival in the Gulf Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE assumed the duties as the Maritime Interception Commander, Surface/Undersea Warfare Commander, Screen Commander, Helicopter Element Coordinator and the Submarine Operations Coordinating Authority. In November, a portion of the staff embarked in USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN-73) while maintaining the command of all warfare areas for which they were responsible. Upon Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE's return, in January 1998, the staff was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation for its performance in support of Operation Southern Watch.
Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE deployed in June 2000 to conduct the bilateral series of exercises involving more than 1,800 U.S. military forces during Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT). Embarked in USS GERMANTOWN (LSD-42), the Staff served as Officer in Tactical Command of a five-ship Task Group conducting exercises with the armed forces of the Republic of the Philippines, Thailand, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. The Destroyer Squadron NINE staff embarked in USS GERMANTOWN (LSD-42), forward-deployed to Sasebo, Japan, for the duration of the exercise.
In July 2001, Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE deployed aboard USS CARL VINSON (CVN-70) as Sea Combat Commander and Maritime Interception Operations Commander for the North Arabian Gulf in support of United Nations sanctions against IRAQ. This mission changed following the terrorist attacks of September 11th. The Carl Vinson Battle Group assumed the role of CTF50 for the North Arabian Gulf and North Arabian Sea. As Coalition Force Sea Combat Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE was responsible for the daily coordination of over 60 surface combatants and four submarines from the US and four different coalition nations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Adapting known tactics and designing new, the staff conducted Maritime Interception Operations, Leadership Interdiction Operations (denying Al Qaeda leadership escape from the sea) and the planning for the Horn of Africa Operations for more than 100 days. Additionally, Destroyer Squadron NINE staff was responsible for the daily underway replenishment of all surface assets including up to three US Carriers and escorts. Working with the Strike and Air Combat Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE staff assisted in the coordination of Tomahawk strikes against Al Qaeda for surface ships and submarines in the North Arabian Sea. Destroyer Squadron NINE was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation for superior performance during Operation Enduring Freedom.
In December 2003 Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE once again embarked on the USS CARL VINSON (CVN-70) and immediately started planning for Composite Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) and Joint Taskforce Exercise (JTFEX) and upon completion set sail for the Western Pacific to serve as the Navy's presence in the area while the USS KITTY HAWK (CV 63) was undergoing maintenance work at Yokosuka, Japan. The CARL VINSON participated in a series of exercises including TANDEM THRUST 03, and finally returned home to Everett, WA, September 2003. Once home they assumed the duties of Intermediate Supervisor In Charge (ISIC) of the Destroyers and Frigates in home ported there.
In February of 2004 the Squadron once again was on the move, relocating from the USS CARL VINSON home ported in Bremerton, WA to the USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN home ported in Everett, WA. When Commander, Destroyer Squardon NINE took up home on their new ship, they also undertook tasking for an innovative training program that flexed the Strike Group by assuming the duties as a 96 hour “on call” surge group. This highly trained and ready status was maintain through planning and executing various exercises through the summer and fall, known as sustainment training. This new program was tested and honed to be used as the basis for training with the other 11 Strike Groups in the future.
On October 15, 2004, the ABRAHAM LINCOLN and SHOUP left Everett, Wash., on a four-month deployment to the Western Pacific. During a port visit to Hong Kong December 24 - 27, word was received that a disastrous Tsunami hit the coastlines of Thailand, Indonesia, India, and the Maldives. The ABRAHAM LINCOLN Carrier Strike Group (ALCSG) responded to no-notice orders to support tsunami relief efforts in devastated areas of Indonesia. This unprecedented human tragedy flexed the capabilities of all Destroyer Squadron assets in the waters off Indonesia where her embarked helicopters of HS-2 and HSL-47 were used to distribute food, water, medicine and other urgently needed goods, while providing much needed medivac capabilities to communities cut off from all areas by the tsunami. ALCSG remained on station until relieved by the USNS MERCY in February. During the time that the Strike Group was on station, more that one million pounds of supplies were delivered to the effected areas of the Banda Ache area of Indonesia. ABRAHAM LINCOLN and USS SHOUP returned to homeport on the fourth of March 2005.
Over the next seven months the strike group entered into an extremely vigorous training cycle, maintaining a “Ready Surge” status. Multiple exercises were completed including a JTFEX, COMTUEX, FSTU and FSTJ, as well as an intensive and trying ASWEX. Additionally sustainment operations were conducted to maintain the crew’s highly trained professional state.
In November of 2005 Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike group and the George Washington Carrier Strike Group operated in a joint exercise that showed the flexibility of today’s Naval forces by allowing two Aircraft Carriers and two Air Wings to operate in the same general area together, as a single Strike Group.
Abraham Lincoln departed its homeport of Everett, Wash., Feb. 27, stopping in San Diego to load the personnel and equipment of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 before heading west. The ship and air wing participated in Operation Foal Eagle in the South China Sea before making its first port call of the deployment in Hong Kong April 6. Upon leaving Hong Kong, Abraham Lincoln participated in a Passing Exercise (PASSEX) with the Royal Thai Navy and hosted the U.S. ambassador to Thailand, as well as many Thai distinguished visitors aboard during the brief underway period between the Hong Kong and Thailand port visits, before becoming the first aircraft carrier to moor pierside in Laemb Chebang, Thailand.
Abraham Lincoln proceeded to Singapore for another port visit before conducting freedom of navigation exercises and a PASSEX in the Java Sea.
During the time Abraham Lincoln sailed in the Java Sea, the U.S. ambassador to Indonesia and several Indonesian officials flew out to the ship to once again thank the crew for their efforts to provide humanitarian assistance during Operation Unified Assistance in the aftermath of the Dec. 26, 2004, tsunami disaster.
Abraham Lincoln then sailed north to participate in PASSEX and training exercises with the Japanese Maritime Defense Force before conducting a port call in Sasebo, Japan. The carrier sailed on to the Guam operating area to participate in Exercise Valiant Shield 2006. Valiant Shield was the first exercise in more than a decade to employ three carrier strike groups, as Abraham Lincoln joined USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). The joint services exercise showcased the United States’ dedication to preserving security in the Pacific region, and its joint warfighting capabilities.
At the end of Valiant Shield, Abraham Lincoln pulled in to Naval Station Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, to enjoy the 4th of July holiday weekend, and to kick off Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2006. RIMPAC is a multinational exercise including the navies of Chile, Peru, Great Britain, Australia, Japan and South Korea. The month-long exercise was designed to continue the close relationships between U.S. forces and those of the participating nations.
After a final port call in Hawaii, Abraham Lincoln headed for San Diego and then toward home. During this Western Pacific deployment, the aviation boatswain’s mates (fuels) of Abraham Lincoln’s air department, V-4 division set a new record, handling 27,559,818 gallons of JP-5 fuel during 13 underway replenishments. The aircraft of CVW-2 flew 7,871 sorties, with a total of 7,578 catapult launches from the flight deck. The ship safely navigated more than 41,000 nautical miles during the deployment.
On September 25, 2011, COMDESRON NINE (CDS-9) departed the homeport of Everett, WA, embarked in Abraham Lincoln, stopping in San Diego to load the personnel and equipment of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 before commencing a Comprehensive Training Unit Exercise (C2X). CDS-9 participated in C2X in the Southern California operating areas in preparation for the 2012 deployment. Following the month-long exercise, CDS-9 returned to Everett, and made final preparations for deployment.
CDS-9, again embarked in Abraham Lincoln, departed Everett on December 7, transiting to the Western Pacific and ultimately joined with USS Cape St George, USS Momsen, and USS Sterett before making a port call in Laem Chabang, Thailand. Other port calls included Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, and Turkey. CDS-9 supported Operation Enduring Freedom during the 8 month deployment to the Arabian Gulf and North Arabian Sea. The Commodore and staff disembarked Abraham Lincoln while the ship visited Antalya, Turkey on July 19, and are currently residing in Everett, WA.
Destroyer Squadron NINE presently consists of USS HOPPER (DDG 70), USS HOWARD (DDG 83), USS SHOUP (DDG 86), USS CHAFEE (DDG 90), USS PINCKNEY (DDG 91), USS KIDD (DDG 100).