1980 proved to be a arduous but productive year for BUCHANAN as DDG-14 completed an extensive regular overhaul followed by two successful sea trials, all within the scheduled time period. Completing an overhaul on time is a rare achievement, but BUCHANAN left Long Beach Naval Shipyard on schedule and returned to her regular homeport of San Diego, California
January 7 ended a much deserved Leave and Holiday period for the Warship's crew, which were berthing and messing ashore at Long Beach Naval Station facilities. BUCHANANEERS were in for a conglomeration of duties and assignments out-side of their normal ratings in the months to follow, but all hands knew it would require a combined effort of ship's company and shipyard workers to finish the overhaul as scheduled. Engineering Department, in particular, was especially busy during this period with the renovation and restoration of most of ' their equipment. Holes were cut in the hull to facilitate the removal and reinstallation of large machinery. Extensive preservation of the main spaces was also com-pleted. Careful planning, coordination, flexibility and cooperation by ship's force and shipyard personnel made the extensive work package proceed smoothly and on schedule.
After having the hull cleaned, propellers replaced and rudders removed, in addition to SONAR being removed and replaced, BUCHANAN was floated out of dry-dock I on May 6 and berthed at Pier 2. This movement marked the midpoint of the Warship's regular overhaul. Once out of dry dock, the awesome task of upgrading systems and equipment still existed. Long days, hard hours, fortitude and professionalism paid off as DDG-14's guns and missile launchers were reworked, engineering equipment overhauled, new and bigger air conditioning units installed and HARPOON and Super RBOC were added to the hull of BUCHANAN to increase the WARSHIP'S capabilities for fulfilling her mission.
On August 23, BUCHANAN's officers and crew were able to move back on board after completion of messing and berthing renovation.
A major milestone was passed on October 2 and 3 when the Propulsion Examining Board Light Off Examination examined men of the Engineering Department. Safety, status of equipment, damage control, general knowledge and operating procedures were all covered in the Light Off Examination. Oral and written exams were given to the engine room and fire room watch standers only to find three fully qualified watch sections. Upon completion of LOE, PEB found DDG-14 to have no restrictive material or personnel deficiencies in the main engineering spaces and the ship was given certification to Light-off.
With the projected overhaul completion date rapidly approaching, BUCHANAN cast off all lines from the pier on 22 October and got underway for the first time in 1980 to conduct the first of two sea trials. Classified as a machinery and electronics sea trial, it proved to be a long but very successful week. A full-power run test was conducted, boiler flexes were completed, hull vibration surveys were taken and pump capacity tests were given, all with typical successful results. The first sea trial ended with an air detection and tracking exercise that was held in conjunction with a TACAN and Radar Surveillance Evaluation.
On November 5, BUCHANAN was underway again for the second sea
trial. After a tracking exercise, a complete boiler flexing and a full power
run, DDG-14 pulled into Seal Beach to on load ammo on 7 November.
Also on the seventh, the ship conducted an Antenna Radiation Pattern Test
and an Electro-magnetic Interference Survey for preparation of the upcoming
events. The following day, the WARSHIP went through a successful gun shoot
and SRBOC firing. Finishing these evolutions concluded the testing for BUCHANAN
and BUCHANAN was declared "Ready for Sea" on November
On November 26, BUCHANAN was home ported at San Diego, 32nd Street Naval Base once again assigned to Commander Destroyer Squadron THIRTY-ONE. The task of recertifying all shipboard systems was a large and demanding job, which BUCHANAN began immediately. On December 8, the WARSHIP steamed out to the Southern California Operating Area for four days of Weapons Systems Acceptance and Systems Qualification Tests. Once again, a successful evolution ensued.
Shortly after returning to port, BUCHANAN commenced a Leave and
Holiday period for all hands, which concluded 1980 and left high expectations
and promise for the WARSHIP BUCHANAN in 1981.