Sunday, November 14, 2004

The decommissioned USS Schenectady, which earned four battle stars in Vietnam, will serve as a bombing target for Air Force B-52 Stratofortress bombers this month in Hawaiian waters.

B-52s to bomb ship
in test off Kauai

A decommissioned vessel from
Pearl Harbor will serve as a target
for a "smart bomb" attack

Air Force B-52 Stratofortress bombers from Guam will use "smart bombs" this month in Hawaiian waters to sink a decommissioned troop transport, as part of training to engage moving sea targets.

Capt. David Faggard, Pacific Air Forces spokesman at Hickam Air Force Base, said the target will be the 34-year-old Newport-class tank landing ship USS Schenectady.

The Air Force demonstration, dubbed "Resultant Fury," will take place in the Pacific Missile Range Facility off Kauai's Barking Sands beaches. About four F/A-18 fighter jets from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 22 will support the demonstration, which be held between Nov. 16 and 24.

The 522-foot vessel will be towed Nov. 21 f

rom the Navy's mothball fleet at Pearl Harbor, where its been berthed since 1993, to an undisclosed location near Kauai.

Faggard said B-52 crews from Guam will be at the center of the demonstration of the Air Force's maritime interdiction capabilities.

He said next week's mission is "to demonstrate the bomber's ability to hit a moving target with a JDAM (joint direct attack munition)," a guided air-to-surface weapon.

Faggard added that "smart bombs" could be used to take out a ship used by a terrorist without harming nearby vessels or facilities. The bombs have been used in the 1991 Gulf War and in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Schenectady, which earned four battle stars for service in Vietnam, is the fifth ship of the 20-ship Newport tank landing ship class. It had a crew of 14 officers, 210 enlisted and could transport 350 troops.

Commissioned in June 13, 1970, the vessel was homeported in San Diego until it was decommissioned on Dec. 15, 1993.

It was then transferred to the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility at Pearl Harbor and stricken from the Navy rolls in 2001.



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