REPORT OF OPERATIONAL PHASE, OPERATION HARDTACK
1. Planning. Planning information received prior to arrival in EPG was in general adequate. However, prior information concerning the procedures involved in taking RAWIN data would have assisted greatly in advance planning and organization of ship’s functions. Advance information also on the procedures used in firing LOKI rockets would have assisted in training personnel prior to actual use. Stowage requirements for LOKI rockets were no known ahead of time causing some concern.
2. Training. Other than security indoctrination the training required for Operation HARDTACK consisted mainly of learning the procedure involved in taking and transmitting of RAWIN data, and rehearsals prior to the participation in Exercise WAHOO. The ship experienced very little difficulty in learning the correct procedures for procuring RAWIN data, utilizing well the one-half day period allowed for training purposes. Officer and enlisted instructors from PARKS (DD-884) were aboard during this time and were well versed and most cooperative instructors on the various phases involved. Exercise WAHOO is discussed in reference (a).
3. Movement to Forward Area. No problems were encountered during the movement from Long Beach to Eniwetok Proving Grounds.
a. Navigation. No outstanding problems in navigation were encountered. However, the aero beacon on FRED Island at Eniwetok Atoll did not agree with navigational plot and eventually was disregarded. Also on NAN Island at Bikini Atoll, a “Middle Tower” not officially plotted on the chart gave excellent results when used in conjunction with the other navigational aids. Location of “middle” tower was provided by USS PARKS. It is recommended that the information concerning the location of this tower (Latitude 11° 31′ 30.5″, Longitude 165° 33′ 56.4″) be promulgated for future reference. All other information was adequate and no dragging of anchor was experienced.
b. Track Data. MANSFIELD participation in one exercise, WAHOO, which is covered in detail by reference (b) together with the required track chart, enclosure (1), thereto.
c. Surface Water Transportation. MANSFIELD was not involved in inter-atoll surface transportation. Boat pool facilities at Bikini Atoll proved to be excellent with services for supplies, transfer, liberty parties and pusher boats all readily available. Eniwetok boat schedules were inadequate and did not enable key personnel to carry out assigned missions away from the ship without great difficulty and loss of time. This subject as relates to recreation is discussed in paragraph 5.
d. Operational Area. No unauthorized craft were encountered in EPG danger area.
e. Search and Rescue. Although MANSFIELD was assigned SAR stations on several occasions, no SAR incident occurred.
f. Radiological Safety. No instance involving either the safety of the ship or the crew was noted.
5. Logistics. No period for ship’s force maintenance and upkeep in port, as such, was assigned MANSFIELD; however, no equipment casualties prevented MANSFIELD from performing her assigned mission. An inspection of MANSFIELD’s Sonar Dome by divers revealed the cause of a “spoking” effect on the sonar indicator to be coral growth on the outside of the Sonar Dome. this was removed and satisfactory operation of the sonar equipment followed. High in-port water injection temperature required the use of high speeds for auxiliary pumps making their operation more difficult. It is recommended that weather observation ships be scheduled for a 3 day minimum in-port upkeep and maintenance period. The continued use of the gyro, the MK37 Director and associated MK25 radar plus other equipment such as the Stable Element and various pieces of engineering equipment does not allow proper time for cleaning and maintenance.
a. Supply. replenishment procedures for provisions were satisfactory with only a normal amount of spoilage, which was expected.
(1) Repair parts requested form NSC, Pearl by message were received in the shortest possible time.
(2) Ship’s Store realized a significant increase in sales, particularly in the luxury items line such as watches and jewelry. The lack of storeroom space prevented stocking of many items which would have been desirable for ship’s company morale.
(3) It is suggested that destroyer type ships be allowed to order boneless beef by specific cuts so as to better utilize the additional 25% monetary allowance. The normal allowance supplies normal food. If something extra can’t be purchased, the additional 25% can’t lend to increased morale.
b. Liberty. Recreation facilities at Bikini were considered excellent, due primarily to the efficient boat transportation available that operated on an hourly basis and the location of the recreation area. Recreation facilities at Eniwetok were considered good once the liberty party arrived; however, boat transportation for liberty parties was inadequate due to the infrequent trips, long runs, the need of transferring from boat to boat and the resulting crowded conditions on board the LCU and LCM liberty boats. Several MANSFIELD liberty parties were cancelled due to the ship’s return to port after 1300. Liberty parties had to depart for the recreation area during the noon hour and could not return aboard ship until either 1600 or 1800. Prolonged liberty for those who desired to return (or should have returned) resulted in some minor disciplinary problems that could have been avoided. Hourly liberty boat transportation is recommended.
6. Administration and personnel.
a. Personnel stabilization:
(1) Personnel losses occurring because of personnel stabilization – 0
(2) Losses due to emergency leave – 0
(3) Losses du to hospitalization (psychiatric observation) – 1
(4) Mandatory transfers – 0
(5) Security risks – 4
b. The personnel situation was satisfactory except for the lack of qualified watch supervisors for standing efficient communication watches (1 RM2 and 1 RM3 aboard), lack of stewards (one was “borrowed” from Commander Destroyer Squadron NINE’s Staff Allowance) and lack of non-rated with the limited on board count of enlisted personnel, the non-rated men on the deck force had little hope of striking unless a current striker was dropped from his gang. The deck force has operated at minimum numbers.
c. Discipline was no problem in the EPG Area.
(1) Courts-Martial cases, originating at EPG – 0
(2) Non-Judicial Punishment cases – 1
(3) confinement cases – 0
a. The volume of shipboard traffic handled was not in excess and at no time was the volume of traffic the cause of a problem of processing and control of message traffic. However, several shipboard personnel procedural errors were noted, mainly due to the lack of rated and qualified radiomen. This situation prohibited MANSFIELD radio watches from carrying out assigned duties at expected proficiency. Nor difficulties arose concerning security of communications. It was noted, however, some encrypted D-day designation messages were closely followed by plain language messages of identical text.
b. The HARDTACK frequency plan appears to have been effective.
c. Communications difficulties were experienced with channel 4 when MANSFIELD was on weather station. Between 2200M and 2400M daily mainly messages were received garbled. It is recommended that the COMM CENTER PERRY, guard on HOTEL ROMEO FOXTROT circuit for limited periods, of the Eniwetok ship, to enable the ship to secure one teletype at intervals for needed maintenance.
d. The procedure of interrogating MANSFIELD on a CW circuit as to the reception of messages on Task Group RATT was found to be very effective in reducing time delays of many messages.
e. No special communications equipment was installed for OPeration HARDTACK with the exception of the portable boat pool transceiver which aided greatly in coordinating with the boat schedule and providing logistic services.
f. Equipment casualties to one teletype and one TBL transmitter were encountered. These casualties did not materially affect the ability of the ship to carry out its assigned communications mission and have been repaired.
8. Security. The ship’s security indoctrination program appeared to be effective. All officers and 2 enlisted personnel were issued security badges. This was a sufficient amount of personnel to complete assigned tasks. It is recommended that CTG 7.3 INSTRUCTION 05512.1A be revised to include all commissioned officers, as all officers aboard MANSFIELD at one time or another had the need for an access badge. Although from a security stand-point certain officers have no need for an access badge, they are often unable to perform supervisory duties due to routine need to trespass in restricted areas ashore. From a practical stand-point every commissioned officer has need for an access badge, if only to perform daily routine responsibilities.
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