During 1971, the Guided Missile Destroyer, USS BUCHANAN (DDG-14) under the command of Commander Clarence H. Greff, United States Navy and Commander W. James Thearle, United States Navy performed the various exercises in the local operations as well as undergoing a four and one half month regular overhaul.
The Guided Missile Destroyer USS BUCHANAN (DDG-14) welcomed 1971 in a stand-down status for leave and upkeep after returning from WESTPAC late in 1970. Her stand-down period ended on 25 January when she again put to sea for local operations in EASTPAC. The fifteen day operating period included operations with USS HAWK BILL (SSN-666), USS JOHN C. CALHOON (SSN (N)-630), and USS MIDWAY (CVA-41) punctuated with two and three day stops at Treasure Island in San Francisco and San Diego, respectively.
On 9 February, BUCHANAN returned to port in San Diego to prepare for participation in the fleet exercise (ADVENTURE). The ship operated with the "ORANGE FORCES" from 23 February to 3 March and carried out its mission with outstanding results. The ship was under the command of Lt. Cdr. E.E. Alexander, USN, for this exercise as the ship's Commanding Officer had been admitted to Balboa Naval Hospital for medical examination.
Another important period for BUCHANAN began on 3 March as she prepared for her entry into Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco for her cycle overhaul. On 22 March, COMDESRON 15 broke his flag aboard BUCHANAN where it flew until 21 April. On 20 April BUCHANAN set sail for Treasure Island and made a brief stop a Seal Beach to unload ammunition before arriving in San Francisco on 22 April.
On 22 April, a four and one half month overhaul began in which the ship's habitability was greatly improved by installation of coffin type locker-bunks for the crew; both gun mounts were replaced and extensive repairs were accomplished on the Engineering plant. The TARTAR missile system's analog computer was replaced with an improved digital system and extensive improvements were made in many other areas of the ship. The routine overhaul of many other major components were completed as well as the assigning and completion of many schools for the crew. During the overhaul, the period from 4 May to 23 June was spent in drydock for repairs on the hull. On 11 May, Commander Greff was ordered to Commander, Cruiser-Destroyer Force, Pacific Fleet Staff on Temporary Additional Duty Orders for a period of about three weeks. Shortly after he returned on 2 June the ship received notification of its shift from DESRON 15 to DESRON 31 which became effective on 15 June.
On 9 July the command of BUCHANAN shifted when Commander W. James Thearle, United States Navy, relieved Commander Greff as Commanding Officer.
Sea trials were conducted on 18 and 27 August before leaving Hunters point on 4 September for San Diego. From 4 September until 18 October, the ship was inport completing work that was not finished at Hunters Point and preparing for Refresher Training. This included a four day underway period for local operations from 27 September to 1 October in preparation for Refresher Training.
Refresher Training began on 18 October with a Training Battle Problem. The rest of the week (19 October to 26 October) was spent inport making repairs on the Engineering plant.
The ship was underway for addition exercises from 1 November until 9 December. On 9 December the ship completed Refresher Training by satisfactorily conducting its final battle problem. From 10 December to 31 December, BUCHANAN was inport at San Diego. On 13 December, the began a week of inspections for the coming WESTPAC deployment in February 1972. During this week Pre-deployment inspections of Administration, Medical, Electronics, Boilers, Engineering, Damage Control, Operations, Weapons, Supply, and various collateral duties were conducted. The week concluded with COMDESRON 31 breaking his flag onboard BUCHANAN on 17 December; the year ended in the midst of a new AN/SPS-39A radar installation.