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Friday, November 26, 2004



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COURTESY PHOTO
The USS Schenectady was decommissioned in 1993 after earning four battle stars for service in Vietnam.




Mothballed ship
sunk in training

The Air Force blows up the
Schenectady as a demonstration

A 34-year-old decommissioned troop transport ship was sunk Tuesday in waters off Kauai as part of a training exercise for Air Force B-52 bombers using "smart bombs," officials said.

The USS Schenectady was sunk by B-52s using air-to-surface weapons guided by Global Positioning System devices and lasers, said Capt. David Faggard, Pacific Air Forces spokesman at Hickam Air Force Base.

One B-52 bomber from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam dropped seven GPS-guided bombs, while a second B-52 from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana dropped four laser-guided bombs on the Schenectady at 12:34 p.m., Faggard said.

The 522-foot vessel sunk in one hour and 11 minutes, in the exercise "to demonstrate to our allies and to our adversaries that we have the capability to strike multiple moving targets at sea in any conditions," Faggard said.

Such smart bombs, which already have been used in the 1991 Gulf War and in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, could be used to take out a ship used by a terrorist without harming nearby vessels or facilities, Faggard said.

The Schenectady was towed from the Navy's mothball fleet at Pearl Harbor to an undisclosed location near Kauai for the exercise.

After earning four battle stars for service in Vietnam, the Schenectady was decommissioned on Dec. 15, 1993 and transferred to the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility at Pearl Harbor.

Pacific Air Forces
www.hqpacaf.af.mil

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