The Ardent was commissioned on Feb 18. 1994 at Naval Station Ingleside in Texas.
The mission of the ARDENT (MCM 12) is to clear the ocean bottom and water volume of anti-ship mines. A combination of stealth, endurance, and the latest mine countermeasures technology allows the Ardent to conduct sustained, full-spectrum, mine countermeasures operations in the world’s critical maritime regions. Specific advantages and capabilities include the ship’s low magnetic signature diesel engines and wooden hull, which reduce the ship’s vulnerability to magnetic-influence mines; a precise navigation system, which allows the ship to find, plot, and report suspected mines with great accuracy; a high frequency sonar, used to locate and classify mines; three minesweeping systems (mechanical, acoustic, magnetic), used to destroy mines; two rigid hulled inflatable boats (RHIBs), used to carry divers and mark suspected mines; and a remotely controlled mine neutralization system used to identify suspected mines and destroy them with explosive charges. A product of intense research and unique construction, the ARDENT plays a vital role in Middle East enduring objective to maintain uninterrupted access to the world’s strategic waterways.
The ship is powered by diesel engines that drive two controllable, reversible pitch propellers. It features a glass- reinforced, plastic-sheathed wooden hull and degaussing system in order to maintain a very low magnetic signature. Ardent is 224 feet in length, has a beam of 39 feet and displaces approximately 1,320 tons fully loaded. The ship will carry a crew of six officers and 76 enlisted personnel.
The ship forward deployed to the Persian Gulf in March 1996. She was transported to the Gulf via commercial heavy- lift vessel Sea Swift in order to prolong the engine life of the ship and reduce her transit time from 60 days (under her own power) to 30 days. The 83-man crew was flown from Ingleside to join the ship in late March.
The crest of USS ARDENT was designed by a plankowner, a member of her first crew. The blue and gold of the outer border are colors that are traditionally synonymous with the United States Navy.
The two gold stars represent the two previous United States naval ships that proudly bore the name ARDENT. The shield signifies protection provided to the fleet, while the broken mine depicts the mine countermeasures mission of the ship. The shield contains our nations colors of red, white and blue representing patriotism and allegiance to country.
The flames behind the shield signify the fire and zeal the crew possesses. The four red stars above the ships silhouette commemorate the four battle stars awarded to the second ARDENT for her distinguished service in the Pacific theater during World War II. The crossed swords behind the shield, one gold and one silver, symbolize the teamwork and cooperation which exist between the officer and enlisted communities. The ship’s motto, igneus et fervens (fiery and fervent), represents the irrepressible character and fighting sprit of the ARDENT crew.