USS ANTRIM (FFG-20)
The second Antrim (FFG-20) was laid down on 21
June 1978 at Seattle, Wash., by the Seattle Division of Todd
Shipyards Corp.; launched on 27 March 1979; sponsored by Mrs. Richard N. Antrim,
the widow of the late Rear Admiral Antrim; and commissioned
at Seattle on 26 September 1981, Comdr. William H. Wright,
IV, in command.
On 1 October, Antrim departed Seattle en route to
Mayport, Fla., her home port. She made stops at Mazatlan and
Manzanillo before arriving in the Canal Zone on the 25th. The
guided-missile frigate transited the Panama Canal on Navy Day, 27
and continued on to Mayport where she arrived on 2 November. Antrim conducted independent ship's exercises out of
Mayport on an intermittent daily basis until 20 November when she set sail for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The
warship carried out shakedown
training in the West Indies until 12 December. After a port visit to Ft.
Lauderdale, Fla., she tested and calibrated
her sound equipment in the Bahamas before returning to Mayport on the 20th to commence holiday
The holiday leave and upkeep period ended on 11 January
1982 with her return to sea to conduct combat systems qualifications and
trials. With that event, the guided-missile frigate resumed a normal
schedule of operations out of Mayport in the local operating
area and in the West Indies as well. On 26 April, Antrim departed
Mayport bound ultimately for Bath, Maine, and post-shakedown
availability at the Bath Iron Works. Along the way, she
stopped at Yorktown, Va., to unload ordnance and atPortsmouth,
N.H., for a port visit. The warship arrived in Bath on 7
May and commenced a repair period that lasted 16 weeks. She embarked upon the
voyage back to Mayport on 27 August, made a series of stops en route,
and entered Mayport again on 11 September. Antrim stayed
in port for almost a month, putting to sea again on 8 October to carry out post-repair
refresher training in the vicinity of
Guantanamo Bay. The guided-missile frigate
completed that mission at the beginning of November, made a brief call at Key West, and then executed
advanced ASW drills in the Bahamas.
She reentered Mayport on 12 November and
remained there through the end of the year.
holiday standdown early in January 1983, returning
to sea to begin training on the 4th. At the beginning of February, she sailed north to Norfolk whence she
conducted weapons testing and
training. On 10 February, while she was engaged in those evolutions, a target drone skipped off the surface and struck Antrim causing a fire in
the wardroom and in her electronics
spaces. The accident killed a civilian instructor embarked in the warship. Antrim
returned to Mayport and passed the rest of February engaged in
repairs. The warship completed her weapons
training and testing during March and spent most of April preparing to
deploy to the Mediterranean Sea and in the
Middle East. On 29 April, the guided-missile frigate stood out of Mayport on her way to the Strait of Gibraltar.
She entered the Mediterranean on 9 May and joined the
6th Fleet. Antrim
carried out normal 6th Fleet training operations until the second week in June. On 11 June, the warship transited the legendary Straits of the Bosporus and the
Dardanelles and entered the Black
Sea. For eight days, she conducted operations in the Black Sea and, during that
time, also paid a four-day visit to
Constanta, Romania. Antrim renegotiated the famous Straits of antiquity again on 19 June and resumed her
operational schedule as a unit of the
6th Fleet. On 1 August, the guided-missile frigate passed through the Suez Canal and shaped a course for the Persian Gulf. Following a brief stop at
Djibouti on 3 August, she began duty as a radar picket ship on the 4th.
Except for a port call at Karachi, Pakistan,
from 27 September to 4 October, Antrim, served in the Persian Gulf for
almost three months. She carried out
turnover formalities with her relief at Djibouti on 30 October, transited the Suez Canal on 4 November,
and laid in a course for Rota, Spain. After stopping at Rota briefly on
the 10th, Antrim set out across the
Atlantic. She arrived in Mayport on 21 November and stood down for the last
weeks of the year.
The relative inactivity of the final month of 1983
carried over into and through the first month of 1984. Antrim did
not put to sea again until the first week in February. On the 3d, the warship
got underway for the coast of Central America. After a call at
Puerto de Cortez, Honduras, on the 6th and 7th, she transited the Panama Canal on
the 10th. For almost seven weeks, Antrim conducted operations off
the western shores of Central America from the base at Rodman in the Canal
Zone. On 28 March, she travelled back through the canal and set her course for
Mayport. The guided-missile frigate stood into her home port on 2
April. She passed the bulk of the month engaged in repairs,
completing post-repair sea trials on the 26th and 27th. On 28 April,
Antrim headed north for port visits at Newport, R.I., and
Portsmouth, N.H., followed by plane guard duty for Dwight D.
warship returned to Mayport on 11 May and resumed local operations 10 days later. At the end of June, she headed for
Guantanamo Bay whence she carried out refresher training until the end of July. After visiting Charleston at the
end of the first week in August, Antrim
arrived back in Mayport on the 11th. On 20 August, the guided-missile frigate began a two-month restricted availability at Mayport. She wrapped
up the repair period with sea trials
on 22 and 23 October and a stop at Charleston on the 24th to load ordnance
material. Back in Mayport on 26 October,
Antrim executed training missions in the local operating area until early in December when she began
preparations for overseas movement.
Holiday routine interrupted those preparations late in
December, but the pace quickened in January 1985 as her February departure date drew near. On
4 February, Antrim stood out of Mayport
on her way across the Atlantic. She made a short call at Rota, Spain, for fuel on
St. Valentine's Day 1985 before passing through the Strait of Gibraltar and into the Mediterranean Sea. The warship made an expeditious transit of the
Mediterranean, stopping only at Palma de Mallorca and Augusta Bay, Sicily, before negotiating the Suez Canal on 27 February.
Steamingthence through the Red Sea and around the Arabian Peninsula, Antrim passed
through the Strait of Hormuz on 9 March and entered the Persian Gulf. While
cruising on radar picket station in the Persian Gulf, Antrim received a distress
call from the Liberian-flag motor vessel, Caribbean
Breeze, that had suffered an Iranian missile attack to her bridge. The
guided-missile frigate and her
embarked helicopter detachment-HSL-36, Del. 1- rendered assistance to
the stricken vessel. Antrim, then continued her surveillance patrols of the troubled waters of the Persian Gulf until the end of the third week in April.
At that time, she departed the gulf for a little more than
a week to make a port call at Karachi, Pakistan. Back on station in the Persian Gulf at the end
of April, Antrim responded to another
call for help on 2 May after the Iranians attacked another motor vessel, Nordic Trader, with missiles.
Again, the warship and her
helicopter detachment evacuated casualties. Her remaining two months of surveillance patrols in the
Persian Gulf provided no further untoward incidents. She turned her
responsibilities over to Klakring (FFG-42)
and Reid (FFG-30) on 5 July and
shaped a course via Djibouti and the Red Sea to the Suez Canal. Through the canal on the 14th, she made a
single stop-at Valencia, Spain-on her voyage across the Mediterranean.
a short pause at Rota on the 24th for fuel, the warship embarked upon the Atlantic passage that same day. On 5 August, one month to the day after her relief, Antrim pulled
into Mayport. Post-deployment
standdown occupied the remainder of August, but she resumed local operations out of Mayport early in September.
During the latter half of November, the warship voyaged to the coast of Colombia, South America, to assist in a multinational operation against drug smugglers.
She returned to Mayport at the beginning of December and, following a short period of local operations, settled into holiday
routine. As of the beginning of 1987, Antrim was at Mayport
[Note: The above USS ANTRIM (FFG-20) history may, or may not, contain text provided by crew members of the USS ANTRIM (FFG-20), or by other non-crew members, and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]