FFG 14 | USS SIDES
Admiral John H. Sides
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Navy Decommissions San Diego-Based USS Sides
Release Date: 2/15/2003 3:00:00 PM By Lt. j.g. Matthew Warke, USS Sides Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Guided-missile frigate USS Sides (FFG 14) marked the end of a distinguished 21-year naval career Feb. 15.
In a decommissioning ceremony at Naval Station San Diego, dignitaries, shipmates and friends looked on as the last watch was relieved and the ship was ceremonially decommissioned.
Sides’ past commanding officers, friends and family of the ship’s namesake, the late Adm. John H. Sides, assembled to honor the men who served in the ship. Joanne Sides Watson, Adm. Sides’ daughter and the ship’s sponsor, was in attendance.
In 2002, Sides participated in the war on terrorism, conducting maritime operations in support of Operations Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom during her last deployment. Also in 2002, she led a combined U.S.-Australian task group in defense of strategic interests in the Indian Ocean.
Adm. John H. Sides was the former commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and is considered the “Father of the Guided-Missile Navy.” Sides, commissioned May 30, 1981, was designed to perform offensive and defensive sea control assignments, anti-submarine warfare screening of naval forces and convoys, anti-air picket surveillance and general escort operations - tasks she performed superbly throughout her career.
In 1988, while deployed to the Arabian Gulf, Sides completed a record 32 safe transits of the Strait of Hormuz while escorting oil tankers in and out of the volatile Gulf region. The ship also participated in combat operations as part of Operation Praying Mantis, the U.S. retaliation in response to the Iranian mining of USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58).
Following the ceremonial decommissioning ceremony, Sides and her crew of 180 Sailors took to the sea one last time to deliver the ship to her final storage location in Bremerton, Wash. She will formally decommission and enter the Inactive Reserve Fleet Feb. 28.
Light blue is symbolic of the hours
of daylight and dark blue of the night. Together they connote the 24
hour watch and the vigilance required of warships at sea. The three
arcs on the light blue suggest the very high frequency radio waves of
radar, those on the dark blue symbolize the acoustic waves used in
sonar to detect submerged objects. The broad arrow represents a missile
on course to its target.