2002: Construction on HALSEY (DDG 97) began on January 28, 2002 in Pascagoula, Miss. at Northrup Grumman Ship Yard.
2003: DDG 97’s keel was laid on January 17, 2003.
2004: On January 9, 2004, the drydock was ballasted down, and HALSEY floated free. She moved to her post-launch, outfitting-testing berth. On January 14, 2004, HALSEY was christened and construction continued.
2005: Northrup Grumman Ship Systems delivered HALSEY to the Navy on January 31, 2005. On June 1, 2005, Halsey left the builder's yard in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and began her voyage for homeport in San Diego, California.
Leaving the shipyard, HALSEY immediately set a new standard for all New Construction ships and Fleet Units. As a New Construction Ship (NEWCON), HALSEY became the first to begin the Fleet Response Training Plan and Unit Level Training while in the builder’s yard.
HALSEY completed the first-ever SURFOR directed combined Light Off-Assessment and Initial Assessment, as well as a CART II prior to and at sail away from the Builder’s yard. Also, HALSEY was the first NEWCON to successfully certify every major warfare area and complete Composite Unit Traning with PELELIU ESG in December, 2005, prior to her Post Shakedown Availability Yard period. Halsey certified and became surge- deployable in 145 days, the shortest time in Navy history for an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer and 65% faster than the four previous DDGs.
HALSEY conducted her Underway Demonstration 21 days after leaving the Builder’s yard, and two weeks prior to the ship’s commissioning. Senior Assessor, CAPT William Haflich stated “Overall performance by Engineering Training Team and Watchstanders was extraordinary. Crew move-aboard was 4 months prior to Underway Demonstration; HALSEY beat every other new construction DDG to Engineering Certification by more than a year with superb results.”
During the ship's sail around, HALSEY made her first port call in Port Everglades, Florida on June 9, 2005. HALSEY successfully transited the Panama Canal and stopped in Mazatlan, Mexico before continuing to San Diego. Once off the California coast, the HALSEY crew furiously prepared for the ship's commissioning ceremony. Divisions worked around the clock during port calls like Port Hueneme, California, ensuring the ship was prepared for her commissioning ceremony. On July 30, 2005, HALSEY was commissioned into the United States Navy. The ship was honored to have prestigious speakers attend, including the honorable Senator John S. McCain, Jr., of Arizona.
As Officer Conducting Exercise, HALSEY expertly orchestrated at-sea events for the most complex Combat Systems Ship Qualification Testing ever completed on the Pacific Missile Test Range. With more than 26 SM-2 missile shoots, HALSEY flawlessly directed USS HOWARD (DDG 83) and Spanish Ship SPN BLAS DE LEZO (F-103) during a two week period on the range.
HALSEY expertly completed three important CNO Directed Operational Evaluations, and HALSEY’s participation was critical in assessing Aegis Baseline 7.1 and SPY-1D (v) for Fleet Certification.
HALSEY was also the first new construction ship to certify 3M Program during Baseline Assessment, 16 weeks after commissioning. Because fewer than 50% of all ships certify at Baseline Assessment, this was a tremendous accomplishment for HALSEY. In addition to HALSEY’s requirements, she certified all Supply Areas during Supply Management Assessment.
HALSEY established the benchmark for all new construction ships, as well as Fleet ships, by simultaneously completing all new construction tasking including CSSQT and Final Contract Trials, while completing all certifications to begin Intermediate and Advanced Training. As a result, she earned three departmental excellence awards and the Golden Anchor Award for retention.
The ship adopted its battle cry, “HIT HARD, HIT FAST, HIT OFTEN” from Fleet Admiral William F. Halsey. It is fitting for this ship and her crew who completed all training and certifications as a NEWCON. The ship's crew excelled at meeting all challenges and laid the foundation for a legacy of which Fleet Admiral Halsey would be proud.
2006: In 2006, HALSEY supported the Global War on Terrorism during its maiden deployment.
The ship deployed on Aug. 4, 2006, to the Western Pacific, initially conducting Expanded Maritime Interdiction Operations (EMIO) in the Sulu and Celebes Seas in support of the Operation Enduring Freedom in the Phillipines.
HALSEY also provided sensor and reconnaissance support for ‘Operation Ultimatum’. Operation Ultimatum was conducted in the Sulu archipelago in August to pursue Abu Sayyaf leadership and Indonesian JI operatives.
Upon leaving the Joint Operations Area, HALSEY joined the USS KITTY HAWK Strike group as an essential element in the screen protection of KITTY HAWK (CV 63). Halsey operated with the KITTY HAWK Strike Group and DESTROYER SQUADRON 15 for the remainder of deployment.
HALSEY's maiden deployment was challenging and beneficial to the crew. HALSEY returned from deployment on Dec. 24, 2006.
2007: On 5 January, 2007, HALSEY experienced a low level explosion in her Number One Main Reduction Gear (MRG) in Main Engine Room One. The explosion caused catastrophic damage to the MRG, necessitating an emergent seven month maintenance period for extensive repair work.
HALSEY’s Commanding Officer, CDR John Pinckney, relinquished command on 1 Feb and on 19 Feb, CDR Paul J. Schlise assumed command. HALSEY’s Executive Officer, LCDR Chris Monroe, served as ActingCommand Officer during the interim period.
On 19 March 2007, HALSEY entered drydock at the BAE shipyard for repairs, where she remained until 4 May. During that time, the damaged MRG was removed through a hole cut into the starboard side of the ship, and a replacement MRG was installed. Following HALSEY’s undocking from the shipyard, she returned to Naval Base San Diego for a two month period of pierside alignment of the newly-installed Main Reduction Gear. After passing Light-off Assessment from 23 to 27 July, 2008, USS HALSEY successfully completed Sea Trials in the Southern California Operations Area (SOCAL OpArea), marking the end of the MRG repair period and HALSEY’s return to active employment.
USS HALSEY entered the Basic Phase of the inter-deployment training cycle eager to make up for lost time. During the late summer months, many days were spent at sea conducting Tailored Ship’s Training Availabilities (TSTA), designed to improve watchstander and team proficiency in all warfare areas. The hard work ultimately paid off when HALSEY passed her Final Evaluation Period (FEP) with flying colors, marking the end of the Basic Phase of the training cycle. As 2007 came drew to a close, HALSEY spent a week at sea for Week One Workups, training for the first time with HSL 45 detachment with which HALSEY will deploy in 2008.
2008: As 2008 began, HALSEY concluded a CNO’s Maintenance Availability. In the beginning of February, HALSEY crew enjoyed a port visit to Mazatlan, Mexico. While enroute to Mazatlan, HALSEY rescued a Mexican fisherman lost at sea. HALSEY worked with Mexican Coast Guard Cutter SANTOS DEGOLLADO to continue searching for lost fishermen, but unfortunately found none. Several HALSEY Sailors were commended for excellent performance, including those bilingual Sailors and the medical team. HALSEY safely delivered the Mexican fisherman to the SANTOS DEGOLLADO before continuing her transit.
In February, HALSEY began an intensive pre-deployment work up cycle. She spent 3 weeks out to sea with the PELELIU Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) for ESGINT and COMPTUEX. The PELELIU ESG was composed of USS PELELIU (LHA 5), USS PEARL HARBOR (LSD 52), USS DUBUQUE (LPD 8), USS CAPE SAINT GEORGE (CG 71), and USS BENFOLD (DDG 65). All six ships participated in numerous exercises including training for small boat threats, anti-submarine warfare tactics, air defense coordination, and Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO). Following the PELESG COMPTUEX, HALSEY joined the USS RONALD REAGAN Carrier Strike Group’s (RRSG) Joint Forces Training Exercise. HALSEY acted as opposition forces (OPFOR) for RRSG exercises.
In late April, HALSEY spent two weeks in port for another CNO Maintenance Availability and for pre-deployment leave. On May 4, 2008, HALSEY departed San Diego’s Naval Base for her second deployment. A couple of weeks later, HALSEY pulled into Pearl Harbor, HI, for refueling, and then participated in an Undersea Warfare Exercise (USWEX) where PELESG trained to combat the submarine threat. At the conclusion of USWEX, PELESG transited through Seventh Fleet to her next port call in Singapore. Following a day-long stop in Singapore and a transit through the Straits of Malacca, HALSEY Sailors enjoyed four days in Penang, Malaysia. Members of HALSEY crew took time to visit critically ill children at a Malaysian Hospital and to distribute Project Handclasp toys while in port.
HALSEY continued west after Malaysia and spent 65 days at sea conducting Maritime Security Operations in the Fifth Fleet Area of Operations. Victoria, Seychelles, was the next respite that the HALSEY crew enjoyed. While in Victoria, Sailors again enjoyed the beaches, but they also participated in a joint military training venture with the Seychellian Coast Guard. A contingent of almost twenty Sailors restored a chapel for St. Elizabeth Convent and Orphanage then shared lunch and play time with the children. HALSEY partnered with Project Handclasp again to distribute rollerblades, soccer balls, hygiene consumables, and baby toys. On August 17, 2008, immediately following the Seychelles port visit, Commander Paul J. Schlise relinquished command to Commander Robert E. Beauchamp. Commander Beauchamp led the crew onward to finish their Western Pacific Deployment (WESTPAC) strongly. Following her maritime security operations in the Fifth Fleet Area of Responsibility, HALSEY turned east to rejoin the USS PELELIU (LHA 5) and make a brief stop for fuel in Perth, Australia. Transiting the rough waters of southern Australia, HALSEY bravely sailed on to Sydney, Australia, where Sailors enjoyed five days of liberty and participated in two community relations events. A contingent of Sailors visited a local children’s hospital while another group helped to restore an ambulance dispatching facility. Following the visit to Sydney, HALSEY again sailed east to make a final port visit to Pearl Harbor, HI. In Pearl Harbor, HALSEY onloaded family members and friends to participate in Tiger Cruise. HALSEY Tigers participated in Personnel Qualification Standard completion, shared meals with the crew, and stood watches to get an idea of what a Sailor’s life is like. The Tigers and crewmembers happily arrived in San Diego, CA, on November 3rd to find hundreds of happy faces on the pier. After a six month deployment, the crew enjoyed almost a month of post-deployment stand-down.
Following the stand-down period, HALSEY entered a two-week long maintenance availability in order to repair some of the wear and tear sustained on deployment. After the availability, Sailors again had a chance take leave and spend the holidays with family and friends.
2009: As 2009 began, HALSEY transited to Seal Beach to offload weapons from her 2008 deployment. Following the weapons offload, HALSEY and her crew entered BAE Shipyards for a Selected Restricted Availability (SRA09). During the two and a half month yard period, HALSEY received many equipment upgrades. Specifically, the Phalanx Close-in Weapons System (CIWS) Block IB gun weapon system was installed on the aft Vertical Launching System (VLS) deck. Multiple combat systems were upgraded including the AEGIS Combat System baseline change to 7.1.2, the Tactical Tomahawk Weapons Control System, and the SLQ-32 (V)2 Electronic Warfare suite.
Following the Availability period, HALSEY entered the training cycle in order to prepare for multiple certifications to include but not limited to Air Warfare, Surface Warfare, Subsurface Warfare, Electronic Warfare, Intelligence Warfare, Seamanship, Navigation, Damage Control, and Engineering. HALSEY performed extremely well during the Unit Level Training and Readiness Assessments (ULTRA) in June and received many of her certifications. Throughout the rest of the summer, the crew trained to attain the remaining certifications to include Anti-Terrorism Force Protection certification and Cryptologic Warfare certification.
During August, the ship had the MK 38 25mm Machine Gun Weapon System installed on both the port and starboard sides enabling gyro-stabilized targeting of small craft.
In September, HALSEY was the first ship have her Maintenance, Material, and Management (3M) program assessed under a revised maintenance instruction, COMNAVSURFORINST 4790.1E. The ship earned an impressive 90.5% at the certification. Later in the month, the Medical team earned a 100% in the Medical Readiness Inspection. Following a long summer of inspections, HALSEY partnered with USS MILIUS (DDG 69) for a joint Anti-Air Warfare and Undersea Warfare Exercise in the Southern California Operating Areas.
HALSEY’s crew rallied to prepare for the Board of Inspection of Survey (INSURV) as the year went on. Pausing briefly to tackle advancement exams, HALSEY Sailors worked tirelessly to improve the material condition of HALSEY and all of her operational equipment. HALSEY’s INSURV occurred 14-18 December. The INSURV team deemed HALSEY “Fit for sustained combat operations” in all inspection areas and acknowledged her as one of the top three performing ships in INSURV’s purview of 2009. Following INSURV, Team HALSEY enjoyed a Holiday Leave Period.
2010: Following the holiday stand down in 2010, HALSEY completed ULTRA-S in February to validate the training and administrative programs were ready for deployment. Following a successful ULTRA-S, the ship entered into a maintenance availability period to upgrade and repair many systems.
In April HALSEY made a trip to Seal Beach, CA to on load weapons for her upcoming deployment scheduled to begin during the summer of 2010. Also beginning in April, HALSEY steamed north to for a port visit in Esquimalt, British Columbia. During her time in Canada, HALSEY crewmembers volunteered at a community center for a cleanup.
Following a port visit in Canada, HALSEY rendezvoused with the USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN Strike Group for a three week-long group sail that concluded in May. During the group sail, Strike Group Nine ships practiced coordinated air defense, anti-submarine, and communications exercises in preparation for deployment.