1981 events in the U.S. Navy• The Navy began preparations for the introduction of the F/A-18 Hornet. The F/A-18, the newest stride-fighter, replaced both the Navy A-7 and Navy/Marine Corps F-4.• USS Saratoga CV 60 entered Philadelphia Naval Shipyard for a 2 ½ year overhaul--part of the Navy’s Service Life Extension Program (SLEP). SLEP was designed to add 15 years to the carrier’s normal 30 year life expectancy.• Iranian Embassy hostages were released after 444 days of captivity.• Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as President of the United States.• John F. Lehman, Jr. was the Secretary of the Navy.• Submarine Squadron 17 was activated at Submarine Base Bangor, Washington.• The U.S. Navy manpower consisted of 530,000 Sailors.• Summer Khaki Uniform was reintroduced for Officers and CPOs. The summer khaki uniform was authorized for wear as uniform-of-the day for officers and CPOs. The change made summer khakis a service uniform, to include ribbons, and authorized it to be worn for liberty, watch-standing and other functions when the uniform-of-the-day was required.• There were 40 female pilots in the Navy. They were exempted by law from flying combat missions.• The Navy turned over the decommissioned USS Intrepid to become a museum in NYC.• The U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation was granted approval to raise funds for construction of the Navy memorial in Washington, DC.• USS Dixie AD 14 was the oldest ship in commission in 1981.
• The CNO approved plans for a new Senior Enlisted Academy, in Newport RI, for senior and master chiefs. The academy convened a pilot class in the September 1981. • The Navy revised recruit training curriculum to toughen the regimen in order to make recruit training more challenging and rewarding. • The SSBN force marked the 2000th patrol. USS James K. Polk SSBN 645 completed the 2000th patrol by a fleet ballistic missile submarine. The patrol lasted 60 days and was Polk’s 49th patrol. • Navy strengthened the Drug Abuse Control program to include urinalysis results that could be used as evidence in disciplinary proceedings. The changes also replaced the drug exemption program with a drug abuse self-referral rehabilitation procedure. • Commanding officers were authorized to announce the name, rate, offense and disposition of personnel awarded nonjudicial punishment (NJP). • USS New Jersey BB-62 began reactivation overhaul. • The keel was laid for the first LSD-41 class ship. • The Navy announced that more women would be assigned to sea duty starting in FY 82. • The Navy’s newest Destroyer Tender, USS Arcadia AD 42 was commissioned on 6 June 1981. • The ground breaking ceremony for the San Diego Naval Regional Medical Center was held on 3 October 1981. • The Navy announced the Enlisted Education Advancement Program which allowed Sailors to receive full pay and allowances while enrolled full time in rating-related or management curriculums as selected junior or community colleges.F-A/18 Hornet to Replace Navy A7 and Navy and Marine Corps F-4 aircraftThe Navy announced that the F-A/18 Hornet, the newest strike fighter, was scheduled to beintroduced to the fleet in 1981. The Fleet Introduction Team (FIT), headquartered at NASLemoore, CA was the first component of its kind whose sole responsibility was the Hornet. FITwas responsible to monitor the progress of the development of ground support facilities andequipment and to work with the manufacturer by providing enlisted subject matter experts(SME). AH JAN 1981USS Saratoga CV 60 Begins Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) at PNSY USS Saratoga CV 60 entered the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard for a 28- month, $ 526 million overhaul that was designed to extend the original 30-year life expectancy to 45 years. The SLEP program involved upgrading the ship’s radar, communications equipment, defensive systems, aircraft handling hardware and berthing /engineering space improvements. Saratoga’s sister ships-Forrestal, Independence, and Ranger were also scheduled for SLEP over the next ten years. AH JAN1981
Submarine Squadron 17 ActivatedSubmarine Base Bangor, Wash., moved another step closer to fulloperations status when Commander Submarine Squadron 17 was activatedon January 5. The squadron was responsible for the refit and supply needsof submarines home ported at Bangor, including the new Trident classsubmarine. The squadron had a staff of 14 people that would eventuallynumber 50. Captain Thomas Fox assumed command of SubmarineSquadron 17, which included the submarines USS Thomas A. Edison (SSBN610) and USS Sam Houston (SSBN 609). AH MAR81Tuition Assistance IncreasesA revision to the Tuition Assistance Program, which became effective December 15, 1980,increased the amount of tuition dollars from 75 to 90 percent for enlisted personnel E-5 andabove with less than 14 years of service. Other active duty enlisted service members could begranted up to 75 percent of their tuition. Enlisted members working on a high school diplomawere authorized to receive up to 100% of their tuition. Officers were authorized to receive up to75 percent of tuition for undergraduate work related to a specific subspecialty. AH MAR81Summer Khaki Uniform Returns for Officers and CPOsIn March 1981, the summer khaki uniform was authorized for wear as uniform-of-the-day for officers and SPOs. In a change to Navy Uniform Regulations, summer khakis werereintroduced as a service uniform, to include ribbons. NAVOP 26/81 authorized khakis tobe worn for liberty, watchstanding or other functions when the uniform-of-the-day wasrequired. The service khaki shirt and trousers, and a skirt version for women, wererequired to be made of the same fabric and distinguishable in quality and appearancefrom the fabric used in the working khaki uniform. AH APR81Navy Female Aviators Exempted From Flying Combat MissionsIn 1981, there were 40 female Navy pilots. Under the laws of the day, they were exempted fromflying combat missions. AH APR81Navy turns USS Intrepid over to New York City as a Museum shipIn April, the Navy transferred custody of the decommissioned Essex-class carrier Intrepid to theIntrepid Museum Foundation to become a permanent tourist attraction at New York City’s Pier86. AH APR81
Navy Memorial Donation Program UnderwayA donation program to make commemorative gifts to the Navy Memorial was established by theU.S. Navy Memorial Foundation. Enactment of Public Law 96-199 in March 1980 authorized thefoundation to construct the memorial on public land in the District of Columbia. In March 1981,the Navy Memorial Foundation was granted approval by the Pennsylvania Avenue DevelopmentCorporation to construct a $10 million living memorial at Market Square Park on PennsylvaniaAvenue. AH APR81New Generation of Barracks Barges improve quality of life in shipyards The Navy introduced a new generation of barracks barges for crews of ships in overhaul at Naval Shipyards. The new generation barges were a mixture of ship and barge. The barges, designated YRBM (L)--yardcraft, repairing, berthing, messing, large-- were 140 feet in length, 46 feet wide and 3 ½ stories in height. They could accommodate 257 Sailors. The barges were equipped with a barbershop, classrooms,wardroom, laundry, general workshops, offices and storage areas for ship’s equipment. Thebarges were also soundproofed. The first ship to make use of the new barges was USS Bronstien(FF 1037) at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard. AH AUG81Senior Enlisted Academy Established The CNO approved plans for a new Senior Enlisted Academy for senior chief and master chief petty officers. The academy was scheduled to convene its first pilot class in the fall of 1981. The plans included two pilot classes, one in September 1981 and the other in January 1982. Sixteen students were selected by the NavalMilitary Personnel Command. Regular classes were scheduled to begin in March 1982 at theNaval Education Training Center, Newport, R.I. The plan included having four classes per year,nine-weeks in duration consisting of 50 students per class. AH AUG81Tougher Life Slated for Navy BootsNavy boot camp curriculum was modified to increase emphasis on military subjects. The trainingrequirements were reviewed at the three recruit training centers with the objective oftoughening the regimen to make recruit training a more challenging and rewarding experience.The curriculum changes included increased training in military drill, physical fitness, seamanship,wearing of the uniform, naval customs, mission and naval history. A seabag inspection, prior todeparture, was also added. AH AUG81
SSBN Force Marks 2000th PatrolUSS James K. Polk (SSBN 645) completed her 49th patrol after 60days at sea. Polk’s patrol was also the 2000th patrol made by thefleet ballistic missile submarine force since it was established in1960. USS George Washington (SSBN 598) made the first patrol. AHSEP81Navy Strengthens Drug Abuse Control ProgramOn 9 July 1981, The CNO promulgated an enhanced Navy drug abuse control program. The newprogram added emphasis to prevention, detection, deterrence and enforcement while stilloffering treatment to drug dependent service members. AH SEP81NJP Results Authorized to be postedALNAV 85/81 authorized commanding officers to announce the name, rate, offense anddisposition of personnel awarded nonjudicial punishment as a result of a change to the NavyJudge Advocate General Manual. NJP announcements were authorized to be published in theplan of the day and could also be posted on bulletin boards within one month of the impositionof NJP.NJP cases could also be announced at morning quarters. The publication of NJP results wasrooted in the belief that it would serve to inform and deter other service members fromcommitting similar offenses. AH SEP81Navy announces plans to decommission seven shipsThe Navy announced plans to retire seven ships from service in FY 82.The ships included: USS Dixie (AD 14), USS Sperry (AS 120, USS Furman (TAK 280), USS Robert A.Owens (DD 827), USS Vogelgesang (DD 862), USS Steinaker (DD 863) and USS McKean (DD784).The average age of each of the ships was 36 years. AH SEP81USS Vulcan goes over Forty The Norfolk-based repair ship USS Vulcan (AR-5), the oldest ship in the Atlantic Fleet, celebrated its 40th birthday on 16 June. Vulcan was launched on 14 December 1940 and formally commissioned on 16 June 1941. In November 1978, Vulcan was the first Navy ship other than a hospital ship to receive women as crew members. In September 1979, it was the first ship to deploy to theMediterranean with female crew members. AH SEP81
USS New Jersey (BB 62) Begins ReactivationOn July 27, USS New Jersey BB 62 was towed from the Inactive ShipMaintenance Facility in Bremerton Washington to the Naval Shipyardat Long Beach CA for reactivation and return to active service with thefleet. AH SEP81Keel Laying Ceremony for New Amphibious Ship ClassSpeaking at keel laying ceremonies for LSD 41 in Seattle, Secretary of the Navy John Lehman Jr.said “The amphibious forces will be at the very front of the Navy in the decade ahead.” LSD 41was the lead ship of a new class. The new class represented a large step in the revitalization ofthe U.S. Navy.FY 82 Assignments of Women to ShipsIn an announcement to fleet commanders, the navy announced its plan for the assignment ofwomen to ships during fiscal year 1982. The plan called for assignment of 78 women officers,primarily as replacement for women officers rotating ashore, and the addition of 824 enlistedwomen. It was projected that by the end of FY 82 there would be 161 women officers and 1,895enlisted women on sea duty. AH NOV81BAS and Subsistence-in-kind for Enlisted on TAD ApprovedEffective 19 September, enlisted members who were entitled to basic allowance for subsistence(BAS) while on temporary duty orders were longer charged for meals in Navy enlisted diningfacilities. The change was a result of an interpretation of the existing laws and the BASamendment to the Defense Officer Personnel Management Act which provided for the paymentof BAS for enlisted members on temporary duty. As of 19 September 1981, enlisted members ontemporary duty were entitled to BAS at the ComRats level of $3.94 per day, as well assubsistence-in-kind. The BAS amendment was provided to equalize entitlements betweenofficers and enlisted members performing TAD/TDY. AH DEC81USS Arcadia CommissionedOn June 6, USS Arcadia (AD 42) was commissioned in San Diego.Arcadia was the second of four new Yellowstone class tenders, amodification of the Gompers class and specifically designed to serve DD963-class destroyers, CGN-class cruisers and FFG 7-class frigates. AHDEC81
New Hospital at San DiegoA ground breaking ceremony for the new San Diego Naval Regional Medical Center was held onOct 3 1981. The Surgeon General of the Navy, Vice Admiral J. William Cox, was the principlespeaker. The facility was built to serve more than 350,000 people in the area. The medical centerwas designed to be one of the main treatment centers for casualties in the event of war orconflict and would also serve the San Diego area in the event of major natural disasters. The 760-bed hospital was the largest medical center in the Navy. AH DEC81Enlisted Education Advancement ProgramThe Enlisted Education Advancement Program was announced in OpNav Notice 1510 on 24September 1981. The program provided full pay and allowances to Sailors while enrolled inrating-related or management curriculums at selected junior or community colleges. Individualswere responsible for their own tuition and expenses. AH DEC81USS Dixie AD-14 Honored as the Oldest Active Ship in the FleetUSS Dixie (AD 14) was the oldest active ship in service during 1981. Dixie was commissioned onApril 25, 1940 by the New York Shipbuilding Corp., in Camden, NJ. Dixie operated in the Pacificduring WWII servicing and repairing battle damage to destroyers. During the Korean War, Dixieearned 5 battle stars. In 1981, Dixie was recognized as the oldest operational vessel in the fleet.OPNAV NOTE 10520 of February 1981 directed that AD 14 be presented with a copy of the firstNavy Jack (“Don’t Tread on Me”). The jack was flown on the bow until the ship wasdecommissioned. It was then turned over to the Navy’s next oldest operational vessel. Dixie wasdecommissioned in 1982.