The year 1990 was extraordinarily busy for USS BUCHANAN (DDG 14). BUCHANAN celebrated her twenty-eighth birthday and spent much of the year preparing for an overseas deployment that unfortunately never materialized. Never-the-less the year was filled with highly successful operations and exciting port visits.
The year began on a quiet note with the crew returning from holiday stand down and spending the month of January gearing up for the year's first, of what would prove to be many, law enforcement operations.
On 2 February BUCHANAN got underway for law enforcement operations off the coast of southern California. Upon completion of her law enforcement duties, guarding against drug smugglers, BUCHANAN proceeded to Oakland for a brief stop for fuel and then steamed to Portland, Oregon.
Following a brief stay in Portland, Oregon BUCHANAN rendezvoused with USS ALASKA on the night of 21 February for ASW exercises. The following night USS FLORIDA conducted exercises with BUCHANAN. Both submarines were extremely difficult opponents, however BUCHANAN gained and maintained contact, and conducted several simulated attacks proving that a 28-year-old warship, if properly fought, can still be quite formidable.
The last few days of February were spent in Seattle and then it was on to Nanoose test range off the coast of Vancouver Island. It was there that BUCHANAN took part in CI40, project 371 from 26 February - 1 March. The project involved testing a new torpedo against a ship of destroyer size and speed, namely BUCHANAN. BUCHANAN had the rare opportunity of firing a total of six tube-launched torpedoes, which proved to be an invaluable training experience for BUCHANAN's crew.
Following a short stay in Vancouver B. C. Canada BUCHANAN was underway on 7 March bound for Nanoose to complete CNO project 371 on 8 March.
With a highly successful operation behind her BUCHAUAN steamed toward her homeport of San Diego arriving 14 March. The middle of March marked the beginning of the year's first 11R11 availability. Additionally, BUCHANAN's CIC team completed the radar assisted piloting team ' trainer receiving a score of 96.0 percent; the highest score -received by any ship during the past four years.
On 3 April BUCHANAN was once again underway for the Pacific Northwest as a guest of the city of Tacoma Washington, her mission was to help celebrate Tacoma's 57tn Annual Daffodil Festival. BUCHANAN conducted tours and flawlessly performed the duties of an ambassador of the U. S. Navy.
On 10 April BUCHAUAN was underway for the second of her CNO projects on Nanoose test range. CNO project 779 involved the firing of a new modification to the MK 46 torpedo. BUCHANAN was again fortunate enough to be able to fire these sophisticated torpedoes from her own tubes. This project was a remarkable success and again proved to be a valuable training experience for BUCHANAN's crew.
Following a brief port visit in Vancouver B. C. BUCHANAN reported on station 10 April for another law enforcement operation. BUCHANAN conducted numerous boardings of small craft in search of contraband and soon gained the reputation as one of the most aggressive law enforcement ship's on the west coast.
After completing another highly successful law enforcement operation BUCHANAN arrived in Portland, Oregon 11 May to take part in their "Say No To Drugs Campaign."
BUCHANAN spent the last two weeks of May, and the months of June and July inport San Diego. 21-25 May BUCHANAN's CIC team participated in a harpoon TMA assist visit. BUCHANAN was the testing platform for Sharpex's that are now conducted monthly along the San Diego waterfront. After a week of extensive TMA and harpoon procedures, the CIC team received a grade of 97.8 percent and was noted by the instructor as being the best TMA Team on the waterfront. That same week a diesel inspection was conducted and it was A-Gang's turn to shine, achieving certifications for both diesel generators.
29 May marked the beginning of a series of boiler inspections, which would stretch through the end of June. 29 May through 4 June BUCHANAN was host ship for the Royal Navy Ship HMS ARRIADNE. The visit by the British ship was an excellent opportunity for BUCHANAN sailors to socialize and participate in sporting events with the Brits.
9 July BUCHANAN's CIC -ream was involved in yet another team trainer. This time it was intermediate multi-threat and the team received a score of 95%.
4 August BUCHANAN conducted a dependents cruise for families of crewmembers. BUCHANAN rendezvoused with USS RANGER and families were entertained by the at sea air show and ship handling.
14 August marked the beginning of BUCHANAN's third law enforcement operation of the year. During the operation BUCHANAN stopped more small craft than any other ship during a two-week patrol and upheld her reputation as the most aggressive law enforcement ship on the west coast.
September was the beginning of the inspection and training cycle in preparation for eventual overseas deployment. During that month the engineers endured two grueling phases of mobile Team Training designed to prepare a ship for OPPE. Marked improvement was shown in all aspects of Engineering during each phase of training.
September also saw BUCHANAN's NGFS Team complete a difficult week of team training and successfully qualify to shoot on the NGFS range at San Clemente Island. 17 September marked the beginning of what would prove to be a highly successful 3-M inspection. Reporting a 95.6 percent accomplishment, inspectors judged BUCHANAN's planned maintenance program to be extremely effective and well managed.
The Disbursing office successfully passed a surprise FAADCPAC Audit conducted 27 September to 2 October. Four major inspections were conducted the week of 1 October including SESI, ASIR, Industrial Hygiene Survey, and the harpoon tactical qualification. All of these difficult inspections were completed with flying colors by BUCHANAN's crewmembers.
Following a long inport time BUCHANAN was again underway on the 16th of October to conduct NGFS and to complete the final phase of Engineering Mobile Team Training. Following completion of MTT BUCHANAN's Engineering Department was deemed ready to face the Propulsion Examination Board.
BUCHANAN was again underway the second week of November for TRE and Combat Systems Assessment (CSA). Fleet Training Group Center Pacific evaluated BUCHANAN as ready for training following TRE. Despite round-the-clock repair efforts on her MK-11 launcher BUCHANAN could not make it ready to complete the AAW portion of an otherwise successful CSA.
26 November marked the beginning of what would prove to be a highly successful refresher training. BUCHANAN's crew handled every exercise and evolution that was thrown their way during training. The climax of REFTRA occurred during BUCHANAN's missile exercise. Her recently certified launcher-was loaded and ready, but with "birds affirm" the immediate failure of an electronic relay prevented "Birds Away". BUCHANAN's last underway period was a short trip north to Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station for an amino onload 10 through 11 December.
The year 1990 ended just as quietly as it had begun with BUCHANAN's crew relaxing for the holidays in preparation for a new year; the ship's last in commissioned service.