1995 to 2003
Klakring operated with Nassau, amphibious transport dock Ponce (LPD-15), and dock landing ship Gunston Hall (LSD-44) in the Adriatic Sea until 10 January 1995. The ship embarked two USMC reconnaissance teams on 14 January, and on the following day rendezvoused with Spanish patrol boat Vigía (P.73). The Spaniards transferred charts of the Sierra Del Retnin area, and Klakring passed through the Strait of Gibraltar, arriving off Sierra Del Retnin on 15 January 1995. On 16 January, Klakring launched the marine assault reconnaissance rafts for a pre-assault infiltration, and recovered the marines the following day. On 17 January 1995, she participated in a pre-amphibious assault against Sierra Del Retnin with Nassau, Ponce, Gunston Hall, and Spanish tank landing ship Hernán Cortés (L.41). Klakring patrolled the outer flanks of the amphibious assault group, detached that evening, and on 18 January refueled at NS Rota.
The ship trained with the Turks on 24 January. Klakring’s helo, Proud Warrior 421, detected Turkish frigate Yavuz (F-240) and fast attack craft Poyraz (P.345) and Rüzgâr (P-344) by employing over-the-horizon search techniques. The ship and her Seahawk then hunted Turkish attack submarine Saldiray (S-348). Klakring relieved Robert G. Bradley in Soudha Bay, Crete, on the following day. She embarked a Coast Guard detachment and rendezvoused with NATO Standing Naval Forces Mediterranean.
On 27 January 1995, Klakring commenced her patrols with Combined TG 440.03 in Operational Area Digger One in the Adriatic as part of Operation Sharp Guard—NATO ships enforced UN resolutions during the fighting in (former) Yugoslavia by inspecting or diverting violators. The frigate primarily prevented suspicious merchantmen from entering those waters, and recorded the number of ‘cigarette’ speedboats transiting to and from the area. Klakring did not dispatch her boarding party to any embargo violators, but she did check several suspicious vessels. Canadian frigate Montreal (FFH.336) relieved Klakring on 6 February, and she visited Trieste, Italy (7–13 February). The following day, Klakring relieved Montreal.
German frigate Köln (F.211) relieved Klakring on the evening of 19 February, and she visited Soudha Bay, Crete, before returning to Digger One and relieving Köln on 24 February. On 5 March, Klakring participated in two different exercises including training with Turkish frigate Trakya (F.254), which then relieved Klakring. She visited Corfu, Greece (8–13 March), and then relieved German frigate Lübeck (F.224), and queried all vessels entering the Adriatic Sea via Operational Area Sybil—located at the entrance to the Adriatic. The ship visited Patras, Greece (20–25 March). Klakring completed her final patrol in Sharp Guard (26–31 March), outchopped from NATO Standing Naval Forces Mediterranean, and refueled and painted the hull at Augusta Bay, Sicily (2–4 April). While sailing from the bay, the shaft break engaged and disintegrated due to mechanical failure, filling the main engine room with black smoke. Klakring repaired the damage and rendezvoused with Dwight D. Eisenhower via the Strait of Gibraltar. Aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) relieved Dwight D. Eisenhower on 5 April 1995—Hawes relieved Klakring. The ship returned to Charleston on 15 April.
Klakring offloaded weapons at Naval Weapons Station Charleston (14–15 June 1995) in preparation to shift homeports. She sailed on 19 June, but while departing the Ft. Sumter Range, the main engine room suffered a major lube oil leak. The ship sounded general quarters and contained the blaze, and investigators discovered that the hydraulic gage line broke and spilled hundreds of gallons of lubrication oil into the bilge. Sailors manufactured a replacement part in the general workshop and within two hours Klakring continued to Norfolk. Comdr. David C. Beam relieved Comdr. Hill as the commanding officer as the ship reached Norfolk on 20 June.
Klakring completed a DSRA at Colona’s Shipyard, Norfolk (23 June–18 August 1995). The schedule originally called for the ship to undock on 16 August, but Hurricane Felix, which approached within 150 miles of Virginia Beach, caused high prevailing winds that delayed the undocking until 18 August. She carried out sea trials on 27 September. Klakring loaded weapons at Naval Weapons Station Yorktown (4 and 5 October) and participated in the Seafood Festival at Morehead City (6–8 October), returning to Norfolk on 10 October. The frigate trained off the Virginia capes (30 October–3 November). While conducting a precision anchorage on 3 November, Klakring’s anchor shackle sheared, but the 600 pound anchor held. The ship replaced the shackle, and trained off the Virginia capes (6–13 November), at one point launching her tactical towed array sonar for an antisubmarine exercise with destroyer Briscoe (DD-977).
Klakring carried out a variety of training exercises off the Virginia capes (8–12 January, 16–19 January, and 29 January–2 February 1996). Additional antisubmarine scenarios with guided missile destroyers Laboon (DDG-58) and Mitscher (DDG-57) and a take down exercise with Robert G. Bradley followed. Klakring visited St. Croix (9–13 March). The ship visited Charleston (17–19 April). She took part in a Combined Joint Tactical Fleet Exercise (CJTFEX), 26 April–21 May. HSL-42 Detachment 2 embarked (27 April–20 May).
Klakring sailed on MED Deployment 96-2 on 28 June 1996. She rendezvoused with aircraft carrier Enterprise (CVN-65) near Chesapeake Bay, crossed the Atlantic, and relieved guided missile frigate Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58) at Gibraltar (11 and 12 July). Klakring operated as part of the Implementation Force Unit of Standing Naval Forces Mediterranean during Operation Decisive Endeavor in the Adriatic (13 July–9 August 1996). She visited Trieste (21–25 July and 30 July–4 August), Taormina (7–13 August), and Ancona, Italy (25–28 August). During this period, the ship detached an SH-60B, Proud Warrior 431, to the Farnborough Air Show, U.K. The Seahawk participated in the show on 30 August, and returned to the frigate on 10 September. Klakring meanwhile returned to Ancona (1–5 September), and the following day joined Commander TF 60.
She accomplished a number of exercises and visited Tunis, Tunisia (14–17 September 1996), and took part in multi-functional exercise NADOR 96-3 with Tunisian patrol boats Carthage and La Galite (P.501) on 18 and 19 September. The ship participated in Dynamic Mix 96 across the Mediterranean (21 September–6 October). Dynamic Mix 96 marked the largest NATO naval exercise of the year and consisted of more than 40 US, British, French, Dutch, German, Greek, Spanish, and Turkish ships and submarines. Klakring began the exercise by attending a pre-sail conference at Palma, and at one point operated as air warfare commander. Following the exercise, she visited Antalya, Turkey (7–10 October) and Dubrovnik, Croatia (15–17 October).
Klakring patrolled and then returned to Haifa, visited Corfu (28 October–6 November 1996), and accomplished repairs alongside submarine tender Simon Lake (AS-33) at La Maddalena, Sardinia, Italy (11–14 November). She visited Mykonos, Greece (19–22 November), took part in a missile exercise with the Germans and Italians (25–27 November), and put into Soudha Bay (19 November–2 December). Theodore Roosevelt relieved Enterprise on 8 December—Carr relieved Klakring. The ship crossed the Atlantic and returned to Norfolk on 20 December.
Klakring trained off the Virginia capes, including day and night deck landing qualifications (DLQs) for the Army’s 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), from 19 to 21 February 1997. The ship visited Newport, R.I. (24 February–3 March), and carried out antisubmarine exercises with San Juan in the Narragansett Bay OpArea (3–5 March). Comdr. Robert A. Bogdanowicz relieved Comdr. Beam as the commanding officer on 28 March. Klakring accomplished additional antisubmarine training in New England waters (16–17 April), visited Portland, Maine (18–21 April), and stopped at New York City for the 100th anniversary of the dedication of President Ulysses S. Grant’s tomb (23–28 April).
The ship trained in Caribbean waters and then visited St. Croix (16–19 May 1997). She completed a variety of training during the summer, including TACDEVEX 97-21 with the Germans, guided missile cruiser Ticonderoga (CG-47), O’Bannon, guided missile frigate Clark (FFG-11), and attack submarine Augusta (SSN-710). Klakring hosted German frigate Karlsruhe (F.212) from 3 to 6 June. She visited Newport (25–30 July), and took part in the 50th Annual Maine Lobster Festival at Rockland, Maine (30 July–4 August). The ship put into Winter Harbor, Maine, to support attack submarine POM Certifications and the Winter Harbor Lobster Festival (5–11 August). Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton visited the ship there on 10 August. Klakring returned to Norfolk on 13 August.
Klakring acted as an opposing force for aircraft carrier George Washington (CVN-73) off the Virginia capes (21–29 August 1997), and then served as a visit ship at Nauticus, The National Maritime Center, Norfolk (28–29 August). She offloaded ammunition at Yorktown (8–10 September) and completed maintenance (10–30 September). On 10 October, Klakring received word of her transfer to DesRon 18 on 1 February 1998; and of the delay of her decommissioning and possible shift to the Reserve Force until after 2001. In addition, the ship learned that instead of conducting counter narcotics operations in August 1998, she was to deploy to the Mediterranean and Arabian Gulf in November.
The frigate sailed in company with other ships of DesRon 18—Nicholson, Thorn, and Stout—for Puerto Rican waters in March. Klakring sortied to evade Hurricane Bonnie’s high winds and seas (24–28 August 1998). Comdr. J. Stephen Maynard relieved Comdr. Bogdanowicz as the commanding officer on 13 October.
Klakring deployed on 6 November 1998. She reached Rota on 17 November. During her time in the Mediterranean and Adriatic, the ship supported Operation Allied Force—a NATO air campaign to reduce to Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic’s ability to sustain operations while “cleansing” ethnic Albanians from Kosovo. Allied Force began on 24 March 1999. Klakring came about on 25 April, and subsequently returned to Norfolk. The ship shifted to DesRon 14 on 1 October 1999, followed by a change in homeports to Portsmouth, Va. She sailed with the rest of DesRon 14 to Puerto Rican waters on 18 January 2000. During her time in the Caribbean, Klakring visited NS Roosevelt Roads. The ship completed additional training in March, and stopped to visit Nassau, Bahamas (3–7 April). She carried out further training in May, and on two occasions (March and May) served as an opposition force for George Washington.
Comdr. Stephen F. Davis, Jr., relieved Comdr. Maynard as the commanding officer on 16 June 2000. Two days later, Klakring made for Gloucester, Mass., to participate in the St. Peter’s Fiesta and the Annual Blessing of the Fleet. The ship began her participation in UNITAS 41-00 on 4 August 2000. She stopped at NS Guantánamo Bay (9 August), carried out a drone exercise (12 August), and passed through the Panama Canal (13 August). The frigate then spent a few days at Balboa, Panama. Klakring crossed the equator (20 August 2000). The ship operated with the Columbian, Ecuadorian, and Peruvian forces, followed by a visit to Callao, Peru (24–27 August). Klakring completed a series of drone and missile exercises, and then returned to Callao (31 August–4 September).
Klakring sailed southward and accomplished bilateral operations with the Chileans, and visited Iquique, Chile (7–10 September 2000). She then sailed southward in company with destroyer Hayler (DD-997) and tank landing ship La Moure County (LST-1179), conducting exercises with the Chileans. Hayler and Klakring scored a direct hit against a target vessel with a BGM-84 Harpoon surface-to-surface missile (11 September). Klakring visited Coquimbo, Chile (15 September), operated with the Chileans, and put into two Chilean ports—Valparaiso (17–21 September) and Talcahuano (22–25 September).
The ship embarked two Chilean naval coastal pilots and transited the Chilean Inland Waterway and Strait of Magellan, dividing her passage in two by visiting Punta Arenas, Chile (28 September 2000). The pilots disembarked when Klakring reached Ushuaia, Argentina (30 September–4 October). Ticonderoga (CG 47) assumed duties as the flagship for ComDesRon 14, and the group participated with the Argentineans, Brazilians, French, and Uruguayans for warfare exercises, maneuvering exercises, and underway replenishments (5–16 October). The frigate then visited Puerto Belgrano, Argentina (14–17 October). Ticonderoga and Klakring conducted a bi-lateral exercise with Uruguayan frigate Montevideo (F.3), and Klakring concluded the exercise with a visit to Montevideo, Uruguay (20 and 21 October). She then visited two Brazilian ports—Rio de Janeiro (26–28 October) and Fortaleza (2–3 November). Klakring crossed the equator (5 November), rendezvoused with ships from DesRon 26, and reached Norfolk Naval Shipyard (13 November).
Klakring offloaded ordnance at Yorktown (8 January 2001), and the following day sailed to her new homeport of Mayport, Fla. The ship completed a Pierside Restricted Availability with contractors from Earl Industries, Inc. (5 March–15 June). Crewmembers lived on board a berthing barge moored alongside the frigate. Many of Klakring’s sailors trained on board other ships through the ‘Sailors-to-Sea’ initiative. She carried out sea trials (19 June) and took part in the annual St. Peter’s Fiesta at Gloucester (28 June–1 July). Klakring trained with Surface Warfare Officers School Command and Naval Education and Training Center at Newport (3–13 July), followed in the succeeding months by the Inter Deployment Training Cycle at Mayport.
The ship loaded her weapons at NWS Yorktown (20 August). Four days later, Klakring rendezvoused with George Washington for escort duties. The frigate completed additional training during the remainder of the summer and into the autumn, including a group sail with ComDesRon 6 in Puerto Rican waters. HSL-44 Detachment 5 embarked on board the ship during these operations. She concluded the group sail by firing three SM-1 surface-to-air missiles that destroyed a target. Before Klakring returned home in mid November, she conducted seven burials at sea.
|Klakring fires a BQM-64E drone during the Pacific Phase of UNITAS 43-02, 5 July 2002. (Photographer’s Mate 1st Class Shane T. McCoy, U.S. Navy photograph DN-SD-03-16940, Defense Visual Information Center)
Klakring participated in CDOPS in February 2002. Within the first few weeks she intercepted a fishing vessel used as a narcotics smuggler and seized more than 12 tons of cocaine. Following the seizure, Klakring transited the Panama Canal and visited Vasco Numuz de Baboa, Panama. The ship continued her CDOPS off the west coast of South America, stopped for a day at Manta, Ecuador, for repairs, and at one point saved a sea turtle entangled in a stray fishing net. In April 2002, the frigate intercepted a fishing vessel smuggling nearly two tons of cocaine, and made two port visits; Callao (Lima), Peru, and Manta, Ecuador. The ship concluded her CDOPS in May, passed through the Panama Canal, and offloaded her seized narcotics at NAS Key West. There, the Joint Interagency Task Force East held a ceremony honoring Klakring’s successful counter-narcotics operations. Comdr. Mark D. Genung relieved Comdr. Davis as the commanding officer on 17 May. The frigate visited Panama, Chile, and Peru during UNITAS 43-02 (June and July). While in Chile, Klakring fired a 21-gun and 17-gun salute with her newly-installed 40 millimeter saluting battery.
The ship returned to Mayport, and in September unloaded her ordnance at the ammunition depot at Earl, N.J. The ship stopped for training in Norfolk on her southward voyage before returning to Mayport in mid-October. She completed an Extended Drydock Selective Availability (EDSRA) at Atlantic Dry Dock (22 October 2002–10 January 2003). The EDSRA included the replacement of her controllable pitch propellers and sonar dome, as well as rudder and fin stabilizer repairs. Klakring reentered the water on 21 December. President George W. Bush visited Mayport (13 February 2003). The chief executive spoke to a crowd of sailors including the entire Klakring wardroom. The frigate loaded ammunition at Yorktown in the beginning of April, and then spent two weeks training at Norfolk.
During her per-deployment training in June 2003, Klakring used a remote controlled Small Weapons Attack Trainer jet ski and radio controlled aircraft for the first time. Klakring participated in COMPTUEX MITT I/II with Enterprise in early July, followed by a DesRon 14 group sail (15 July–4 August). The ship began a Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) during this period, visited Brunswick, Ga. (October 2003), and then carried out naval gunfire support for a simulated amphibious assault of Jacksonville Beach during the Jacksonville Sea and Sky Spectacular. She trained during the remainder of the year, including an operation as an opposing force against George Washington in early December.
Courtney Frey and Mark L. Evans