USS Stump (DD-978), named after Admiral Felix Budwell Stump USN, was a built by the Ingalls Shipbuilding Division of Litton Industries at Pascagoula, Mississippi. The USS Stump was decommissioned and stricken on 22 October 2004.
Stump's 1980 maiden deployment was to the Mediterranean, serving as flagship for Commander, Destroyer Squadron 14. Stump conducted Black Sea operations, port visits and extensive under sea warfare (USW) operations. As a result of her outstanding performance, Stump was awarded the "Hookem Award" for USW excellence by the Commander U.S. 6th Fleet.
A year later Stump deployed as U.S. Commander South Atlantic Flagship for UNITAS XXII. It was on this cruise that Stump obtained its mascot Felix, a bluefronted Amazon parrot, during a port visit to Brazil. Stump was the first Spruance-class ship to tranverse the inland waterway of Chile.
In October 1982, Stump deployed to the Persian Gulf as a part of the Middle East Force to conduct radar picket operations. Returning home in March 1983, Stump participated in Solid Shield '83, a complex exercise involving U.S. NATO ships and the U.S. Air Force.
March 1984 was highlighted by Stump's adoption as state flagship of West Virginia. Stump then traveled to New Orleans as the U.S. Navy's host ship for the 1984 World's Fair. Also in 1984, Stump won the James F. Chezek Memorial Gunnery Award by shooting an extraordinary 496 out of 500 during naval gunfire support qualifications.
Admiral W. L. McDonald, Commander in Chief U.S. Atlantic Fleet, embarked in March 1985 for CARIBOPS '85. While in the Caribbean, Stump again shot naval gunfire support qualifications and scored 495 out of 500 winning the Atlantic Fleet "Top Gun" award for an unprecedented second year in a row. Stump then deployed for UNITAS XXVI/WATC '85. During the deployment, Stump showed the flag in port visits to eight South American nations and six West African nations. The year 1986 was significant for two reasons. First, Stump was chosen to become the test platform for the U.S. Navy's newest hull mounted sonar, the AN/SQS-53C. Using advanced technology, the "53C" will be the sonar for the U.S. Navy combatants well into the twenty-first century. Secondly, Stump was awarded the COMDESRON TEN Battle "E" Efficiency award for overall excellence.
In 1988, Stump deployed to the Mediterranean as part of the carrier battle group (MED 3-88). In April, and on 48 hour notice, Stump was directed to detach and proceed to the Persian Gulf to replace the which had suffered extensive damage from a naval mine explosion. Stump returned to Norfolk, Virginia in August. Stump was underway again in October for six weeks of Caribbean law enforcement operations. In December, Stump was presented her second consecutive Battle "E" award by Rear Admiral Donnell, Commander Naval Surface Force U.S. Atlantic Fleet.
In October 1989, Stump again deployed to the Mediterranean as part of the carrier battle group (MED 1-90). During this deployment, Stump was extremely successful in conducting anti-submarine warfare exercises and was once again presented the "Hookem" award for excellence in the area of USW.
In November 1992, Stump deployed to the Persian Gulf and North Red Sea as part of MEF (1-93) to serve as a ready strike platform. The highlights of the deployment was the devastating Tomahawk missile strike launched against Iraq in support of Operation Southern Watch on 17 January 1993.
In July 1994, Stump again deployed to South America for UNITAS XXXV serving as the flagship for Commander U.S. South Atlantic Force. Stump re-visited eight South American nations, as well as completing another successful transit of the Chilean Inland Waterway.
In February 1995, Stump deployed to the Caribbean Sea in support of counter drug operations, transiting the Panama Canal. During this period Stump participated in a search and rescue mission in the Pacific Ocean. In cooperation with a Colombian Coast Guard cutter, Stump located and recovered a survivor of a wrecked Colombian vessel. Stump returned in April 1995.
As part of a reorganization announced in mid-1995 of the Atlantic Fleet's surface combatant ships into six core battle groups, nine destroyer squadrons and a new Western Hemisphere Group, Stump was reassigned to Destroyer Squadron Two. The reorganization was to be phased in over the summer and take effect on 31 August, with homeport shifts to occur through 1998.
Stump deployed in August 1996 for a Middle Eastern Force cruise to conduct maritime interception operations and act as ready strike destroyer in the Persian Gulf. Stump relieved on 28 September as the maritime interception operations/strike platform in the Northern Persian Gulf. While in the Persian Gulf, Stump completed over 40 boardings in support of maritime interdiction operations and participated in 11 Persian Gulf Tomahawk exercises, including one as launch area coordinator. A mainstay during this deployment, Stump remained underway for over eighty percent of the time she was in the Persian Gulf.
Following the return from her Middle Eastern Force deployment in February 1997, Stump conducted an extensive Dry-Docking Selected Restricted Availability and immediately commenced a rigorous training cycle which culminated in a highly successful final evaluation period. In January 1998 Stump commenced work-ups for its upcoming Sixth Fleet deployment by participating in COMPTUEX and JTFEX as part of the Eisenhower carrier battle group.
In March 1998 the Sara Ann (a Fishing Trawler) was operating off the Virginia Capes when the seas became to much and she started taking on water. Stump, while conducting routine operations on April 17, 1998, was informed by United States Coast Guard Station Portsmouth the Sara Ann was in distress. Stump subsequently rescued four civilians about 65 nautical miles off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Stump provided safe passage back to Norfolk, Virginia.
Stump deployed to the Mediterranean as part of Sixth Fleet in June 1998. Stump, as part of Destroyer Squadron Two, joined five other nations and other U.S. Navy warships in the central Mediterranean for the execution of SHAREM 125, from 9 July to 15 July 1998. SHAREM 125 was the latest in a series of SHAREM exercises designed to test and evaluate undersea warfare tactics, weapons, sensors and procedures. SHAREM is a Chief of Naval Operations program established in 1969 to continuously improve the quality of undersea warfare.
The focus of FBE-H was the application of network centric operations in gaining and sustaining access in support of follow on joint operations. Access denial was expected to be the focus of any potential adversary's strategy. Specifically, FBE-H further developed NWDC's draft Access Concept entitled "Poseidon's Presence". In addition, the NATO exercise "Unified Spirit" ran concurrently with the JTFEX, with forces from Canada, Denmark, France, Germany and the United Kingdom playing major roles.
Stump deployed in late November 2000 along with the carrier battle group. Prior to that, Stump took part in Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) 01-1, to certify the carrier battle group for deployment. This was the first deployment for Truman, which was commissioned in 1998. The deployment included extensive operations in the Mediterranean Sea, Indian Ocean and primarily the Persian Gulf. While operating in the Persian Gulf, the Truman battle group enforced United Nations sanctions against Iraq by diverting 22 vessels with more than $5 million of suspected contraband cargo. Throughout the deployment, the battle group also participated in numerous international exercises, including Arabian Gauntlet, an 11-nation exercise that involved more than 20 ships. Additionally, U.S. sailors worked with military forces from Oman, Jordan, Tunisia, Kuwait, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, improving interoperability and strengthening relationships with those countries. Stump, along with the rest of the battle group ships returned home on 24 May 2001.
The many decorations received by Admiral Stump for his exemplary service in the Pacific Theater during World War II are represented in the shield. The blue silhouette cross refers to the Navy Cross twice awarded him while in command of Carrier Division 24; the white central star denotes the Silver Star Medal awarded "for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action" against enemy-held islands. The Legion of Merit (which he was awarded three times) is indicated by the crossed arrows in scarlet and white. The U.S. Army Distinguished Service Medal, received for exceptionally meritorious services as commander of a combined operations center during the early part of the war, is represented by the colors scarlet, white and blue, the colors of the suspension ribbon of the medal. The four smaller stars in gold are in recognition of the attainment of the rank of Admiral. The gold shield is symbolic of knowledge and achievement.
Admiral Stump's navy career, his noted boldness, and his service aboard six aircraft carriers are presented by the griffin holding an anchor.