The USS Stephen W. Groves has completed her final journey to International Shipbreaking Ltd.’s facility at the Port of Brownsville where she will be recycled. Her arrival marks the sixth U.S. Navy vessel contract awarded ISL this year.
The USS Stephen W. Groves was moored at the former Philadelphia Naval Shipyard since having been decommissioned in 2012. She made her final journey to ISL’s facility where she arrived Nov. 19.
Armed with one MK 75 76mm/62 caliber firing gun, MK 32 ASW torpedo tubes (two triple mounts) and one Phalanx CIWS for anti-submarine warfare, she boasted 1-MK 13 Mod 4 launcher, 4-SSM McDonnell-Douglas Harpoon missiles and 36-GDC-Pomona Standard SM-1MR missiles. The guided missile frigate also had 1 OTO Melara MK 75 3″/62 cal., 1 Vulcan Phalanx CIS and 4-.50 cal. MGs guns.
During her 30-year career, USS Stephen W. Groves largely supported during tensions in the Middle East. On her maiden voyage in 1983, Groves was sent to Beirut as part of the U.S. response to the Lebanese Civil War. There she assisted U.S. Marines who had been stationed at the airport, following an attack on the American and French barracks in October of the same year. During this operation, she was assigned to protect the USS New Jersey during her attacks on targets in the Baqaa Valley. Notably, Groves also monitored Yasser Arafat’s movement from Lebanon to Cyprus allowing his safe passage into exile. Later in her career, she took part in anti-narcotics patrols in the Eastern Pacific where she captured a drug smuggling operation carrying 1.5 tons of cocaine. Her final deployment saw her intercept Taiwanese vessel, Jih Chun Tsai 68, which had been hijacked by Somalian pirates.
“We have a long history of respectfully recycling military vessels. The USS Stephen W. Groves is the sixth U.S. Navy vessel that we have had the joy of welcoming to our Brownsville site this year,” said Chris Green, Senior Manager at International Shipbreaking Ltd. “We would like to thank the Port of Brownsville Commissioners, Administration, Harbormaster and Brazos Santiago Pilots for their support in safely completing these ship movements.”
The ISL Facility at Brownsville, Texas, is equipped with a fleet of heavy lifting cranes that can lift up to 350 tons, meaning that the team is able to process a vessel of this size. World-leading metal recycler and ISL’s parent company, EMR has two other shipbreaking sites located on the Gulf of Mexico in New Orleans and Louisiana.
This project is set for completion in early 2021.