U.S.S. McKean Sea Stories

Outchop press release for Operation Charger SURFPAC 1-73 In a major demonstration of the role Naval Reservists now play in the Navy under the Total Force Concept, four Pacific Fleet destroyers return to their west coast homeports today from the Western Pacific completing an historic training cruise called CHARGER SURFPAC 1-73. USS KEAN (DD-784), homeported in Long Beach, California; USS SOUTHERLAND (DD-743), homeported in San Diego, California; USS WILTSIE (DD-716) and USS CARPENTER (DD-825), homeported in San Francisco, California departed Seattle, Washington, the 16th of June with reservists from most of the states west of the Mississippi embarked. In the next 2.5 months, these ships visited Adak, Alaska; Yokosuka, Kure, and Sasebo, Japan; Kaohsiung and Keelung, Taiwan; Hong Kong; Guam; Midway Island; and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. More than 1000 Naval Reservists participated, receiving significant training in SEVENTHFLT operations, and naval exercises with friendly foreign navies involving some 25 ships and aircraft. A unique feature of this cruise was the airlifting of new groups of reservists to the ships on their departure from the Western pacific, Rear Admiral John Kern, USN, Commander Cruiser-Destroyer Force Seventh Fleet, told the ships, "Success of CHAGER SURFPAC 1-73 has set the precedent for future cruises and has established a record that will be hard to beat," The four destroyers that participated in this first mass employment of reservists in SEVENTHFLT theater of operations are under the overall command of Rear Admiral Mark Woods, USN, Commander Cruiser-Destroyer Force U.S. Pacific Fleet. USS MCKEAN is commanded by Commander J.L. May, USN; USS SOUTHERLAND is commanded by Commander P.S. RODER, USN; USS WILTSIE is commanded by Commander C.T. O"NEIL, USN. Assistant Secretary of the Navy Joseph T. McCullen visits USS SOUTHERLAND. The one Navy concept strengthened October 17th as Joseph T. McCullen, Jr., Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve affairs visited the San Diego based destroyer USS SOUTHERLAND (DD-743). McCullen, in town to address the Naval Reserve Association convention, discussed the value and application of reservists in today's Navy while on board. On top of the list of topics was the amount and success of training that reservists receive on ships specifically assigned to that task. Vice Admiral Damon Cooper, Chief of Naval Reserve; Rear Admiral Mark Woods, Commander Cruiser-Destroyer Force Pacific; and Captain C.V. Wilhoit, Commander Destroyer Squadron 27 (Reserve) also briefed McCullen on current reserve training, manning and morale. The One Navy concept integrates the training needs of the "weekend" reservist sailor with the needs of the ship and the fleet to provide maximum benefits for both. SOUTHERLAND's recent return from the summer deployment of selected reserve destroyers to the Pacific Far East highlighted the growing success of the One Navy concept. Four destroyers succeeded in training hundreds of reservists while maintaining training and operational commitments for the fleet. Every two weeks some 75 to 100 new men would be sent to each ship to start the process over again. Both the response received and the results achieved indicated that the average naval reservists were enthusiastic about their duties and had pride in their jobs. McCullen was further briefed on the One Navy concept as it applies to unifying the "weekend" reservists with the "full time" sailors that serve aboard SOUTHERLAND. Every effort is made to incorporate the reservist into regular ship's routine, including supervisory and managerial jobs. "The reservist of today wants a meaningful and responsible job when he comes aboard," said Commander Peter S. Roder, SOUTHERLAND's commanding officer. McCullen is a newcomer to the Navy establishment, being appointed to his present post from his job as staff assistant to the President. The 38 year old management consultant is working hard determining the manpower and equipment readiness of the fleet reserve. Among recent innovations in the reserve community to increase readiness are consolidation of the air and surface commands and turning over many active duty jobs to reservists. On SOUTHERLAND, the reservist has many duties that are done each month solely by himself. This unified One Navy concept is going far in getting more highly qualified reserves to stay in the service. McCullen said that he hopes to eventually have about 80 per cent of the fleet reserves serving in ships like SOUTHERLAND. About 20 per cent of today's reserves have billets in reserve training ships. Following the briefing McCullen was given a tour of the ship and had an opportunity to discuss life on board with men throughout the ship.